The national team of Tamil Eelam trained for the first time for the VIVA World Cup 2012 in Erbil, Kurdistan, ahead of their first match against Raetia on Tuesday at 20:30 AST.
*** NEWS JUST IN - the match will be screened LIVE***
20:30 Arabia Standard Time
Tamil Eelam 23:00 / UK 18:30/ Toronto & NYC 13:30/ Paris 17:30/ KL 01:30/ Sydney 03:30/ NZ 05:30/ Chennai 23:00
The players enjoyed a team lunch together at the Erbil International Hotel, before setting out for the training grounds, where they prepared for their first match with an intensive session, with temperatures in Erbil hitting 35°C.
The manager, Ragesh Nambiar said the players showed great skills during the session and was hopeful for the match.
“Although we are the underdogs, with the youngest team that is playing in this tournament, we could surprise Raetia with our speed and agility," manager Ragesh Nambiar told the Tamil Guardian.
Captain Janarthan Sadacharalingam said he was happy with morale in the camp:
“Even though most of the players had never met each other before, everyone came together to give 100% in training and supported each other. Each and every player is proud and honoured to represent their nation at the VIVA World Cup and they are all working very hard to win the first game.”
The players headed to the Erbil International Stadium after the training session to watch the opening ceremony of the tournament.
Opening ceremony at Erbil International Stadium
The stadium was decorated with the flags of the participating nations and saw a colourful opening ceremony, watched by over 2000 spectators.
The first matches of the tournament were also played today, with Tamil Eelam’s opponents on Tuesday, Raetia, losing 6:0 to one of the tournament favourites Zanzibar.
Hosts Kurdistan also won 6:0 against Western Sahara, in the first Group A match.
Northern Cyprus recorded an emphatic victory against newcomers Darfur, beating them 15:0.
Team Tamil Eelam arrive in Erbil (04 June 2012)
Tamil Eelam gets ready for VIVA World Cup (31 May 2012)