Courtesy: New Straits TimesFive years old and going strong
KUALA LUMPUR: It may be into its fifth edition, but there seems to be no let up in popularity and support as the Revive-Sports Planet: Ultimate Champions League (UCL) once again brings revved-up futsal action to some of the most popular venues across the country.
The tournament is a major drawcard with futsal fans, as some of the most well-known local teams have displayed dazzling hard court skills in past editions.
This year will be no different, with 2011 winners Dani FC expected to face a tough battle for top honours from tournament regulars and twice-champions Brabus, who will be looking to add a hat-trick of titles to their trophy cupboard.
Players and fans can get into the action when the Revive-Sports Planet: Ultimate Champions League 2012 kicks off at Sports Planet Subang Grand on April 21, followed by seven other legs nationwide and one in Singapore.
Between 32 and 48 teams at each venue will vie for cash prizes and assorted prizes and a shot at two places in the Grand Final, on Sept 15 at Sports Planet Ampang.
Each venue offers the champions RM1,500 plus goodies from Revive Isotonic. Runners-up receive RM800 while the third and fourth-placed teams receive RM200 each.
The Grand Final, comprising the Men's Open and Under-17 categories, rewards the champions with RM7,000, a challenge trophy and Revive Isotonic goodies.
The runners-up earn RM4,000 while the third and fourth-placed teams receive RM2,000 and RM1,000, respectively.
Youngsters in the Under-17 category will compete for a first prize of RM1,500 and a challenge trophy while the runners-up take home RM700.
There's also RM400 for the third-placed team and RM200 for fourth. All winners also receive medals and assorted prizes.
It also offers a RM200 cash prize and a trophy each for the Top Scorer and Best Keeper in the Men's Open category and RM150 and a trophy each in the Under-17 category at the Grand Final.
As with the previous editions, the tournament will showcase two side events: the Media Cup in April and the Supporters' Club Cup in July.
The Supporters Club Cup, to be played based on this year's Euro Championship, offers the winners RM2,000 while the Media Cup, open to media members, has a first prize of RM500. Both events have cash prizes for all semi-finalists.
Permanis Sdn Bhd vice president of marketing Hemalatha Ragavan was delighted with the popularity of the tournament.
"This goes to show that futsal is one of the more well-loved games here," she said. "Our aim in supporting this tournament is to not only give fans top-level excitement, but to also hopefully unearth talent at the grassroots and give players an opportunity to shine one day on a bigger stage."
Teams interested to take part in the tournament or side events can register at any Sports Planet venue in Malaysia. For more information, log on to www.sportsplanet.com.my or contact Huzai at 03-2091 9595 / 017-647 9717.
Posted by Luca Ranocchiari