Football is helping to rebuild ties between in south-east Asia.
The beautiful game is set to bring together Timor Leste, the former Portuguese colony which won its independence from Indonesia in 1999, the neighbouring Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, whose capital is located in the western half of Timor island, and Australia’s nearby Northern Territory, from where an international peace keeping force departed to stabilise the new nation after a United Nations-sanctioned plebiscite elected to separate from Indonesia.
The second edition of the ConocoPhillips Timor Sea Cup will be played in Dili, Timor Leste’s capital, from 29 April to 2 May 2010. The final will be held on Sunday 2 May.
The tournament brings together men’s under-18 football teams from Nusa Tenggara Timur province. the Northern Territory and Timor-Leste.
Former Manchester United and England player Paul Parker will coach the Northern Territory team. Paul will also be conducting coaching clinics during his stay in Dili.
The inaugural tournament was held in Darwin in 2008. The event was considered a success, with Timor-Leste winning the final 3-0 over the Northern Territory.
The ConocoPhillips Timor Sea Cup has been secured for three years, with next year’s Cup being held in Darwin during the Arafura Games (7-14 May 2011).
In 2012 the ConocoPhillips Timor Sea Cup is likely to be held in Kupang, West Timor, the capital of Nusa Tenggara Timur province.