The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tough opener for EB

Calcutta: National Football League champions East Bengal have their task cut out in the inaugural ASEAN Club Championship to be held in Indonesia from July 13 to 26.

Starting their campaign a day after the meetís July 13 start, East Bengal will take on the surprise AFC Champions League finalists, BEC Tero Sasana of Thailand, in their opening match.

East Bengal have been placed in group C, with Negros Occidental FC, the Philippines champions, being the other team. The city outfit will face them on July 16.

Two teams each from four groups will move into quarter finals of this 12-team tournament, to be held in Jakarta as well as in East Java state, Gresik.

Apart from the Indonesia champions and runners-up, Petrokimia Putra and Persita Tangerang, respectively, nine other champions from the rest of the ASEAN member countries will play in the tournament.

East Bengal are the only team outside the ASEAN group to have been invited for the tournament. The group matches of East Bengal will be played at Jakartaís Bung Karno Stadium.

The winners and runners-up of the tournament, originally scheduled to be held in Vietnam, will take home $50,000 and $30,000, respectively, while the third and fourth-place finishers will bag $20,000 and $10,000.

East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick has said this is the tournament his team is aiming at this season.

His boys are under the watchful eyes of South African physical trainer Kevin Jackson for this meet and one of their local league matches has been postponed so that they can focus on the ASEAN Club Championship.

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