Friday, July 20, 2007

NMIFA in the News

This was in the Saipan Tribune today:

Korea-Bangladesh tiff to kick off men's football league
By Jon Perez

It will be Korea versus Bangladesh in the opener of the Men's Summer Open League Tapochao Derby, which kicks off its hostilities on Sunday at the Oleai Football Field inside the Susupe Sports Complex.

The Korean Football Association will face the Bangladeshi Sports Club in the 2:30pm first game followed by the 4:30pm match between Fiesta Inter and Pacific Telecom Inc.

All games will be held at the Oleai Sports Complex unless there is a sudden change of venue, which the organizers will notify the competing teams before the scheduled date of their match.

Two games will be played every Sunday with one team earning a bye. Standings will be kept where each team earns points based on the number of goals and their wins.

An intra-island derby between the top two teams after the season will be held to determine the champion of the season. Schedule of all matches are pending at this time but games will run from July 22 to mid September.

The Independents, the fifth team in the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association-organized league, will be on a bye and will play against PTI on July 29.

The KFA will open up the July 29 games when they take on Fiesta Inter at 2:30pm.

The league format will have each team earning three points for every win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss.

In an event that two teams have the same number of points after the regular season, organizers will follow four ways of breaking the tie for the Tapochao derby.

NMIFA director Vince Stravino said they will break the tie based on goal differential for the whole season, total goals for the season, head to head outcome, and through a coin toss.

The league was originally scheduled to open on July 15, but organizers decided to reschedule the opening to give teams more time to prepare and complete their respective rosters.

The registration fee for players is $20 and each player is also required to provide their own shin guards for the games.

Stravino added players are also required to obtain photo identification from Quick Print along Middle Road in Garapan after they register. The cost of the photo identification is $5 and the identification card is a requirement for a player to participate in the game.

This will be the second men's soccer league after NMIFA opened the inaugural competition in November last year. A total of eight teams competed in the inaugural men's league where L&S Kyung/Seung defeated Real Mariana in the finals of the Marcos Alonso Cup.

After the league opening on Sunday, there will only be one more schedule, on July 29, before the games take a brief break to give way to tune-up matches against masters 35-and-up teams from Guam and Hong Kong.

The off-island teams will be on Saipan on Aug. 4 and 5 and will play against several local teams on island. The matches will not count in the standings for the Tapochao Derby and games will be held at the Oleai and Airport fields.

The final schedule, with the times, and format for the two-day tune-up games will be announced in a later date.

For more information, email Stravino at

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