A single, rubber flip-flop; a banana peel; a handful of stadium chairs – all this and more littered the edge of the pitch in Mandalay’s Mandalar Thiri Stadium on July 4. The debris came raining down during the Myanmar vs Vietnam semifinal of this year’s AFF Women’s Championship.
Standing stock-still, right arm outstretched, eyes unblinking, Myanmar’s only Olympic qualifier squeezes the trigger and sends a pellet slamming into a paper target – a skill honed during military service in the formerly junta-run nation.
Although football fans may miss their usual serving of Myanmar National League matches this weekend, there’s no reason to despair: Instead, some of the league’s top sides will face off in the country’s biggest knockout tournament semi-finals.
Judo veteran Yan Naing Soe will have his heart set on the gold when he represents Myanmar on the Olympic stage for the first time in Rio next month – because his first chance will also be his last.
Football fans and community activists in Pyinmana are looking forward to getting their playing field back. After years of protests and effort, they may be about to retake possession of Paung Laung Stadium.
A Magwe village has found an unconventional outlet for their Martyrs’ Day zeal this year – the football pitch. Pandan village, in Ngape township, is hosting a friendly football competition to finance a new Bogyoke Aung San statue for the township.
Rakhine United put a stop to an eight-match winless slide this past weekend, and just in time. Their 2-0 victory over Ayeyawady United on July 23 at Pathein Stadium gives the Red Arakan Warriors a bit more breathing room from the relegation zone as the season enters its final month.
Zeyar Shwe Myay
Nay Pyi Taw FC
United of Thanlyin