Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What colour do you prefer?

Thong Chankethya loves his cards, but Meas Channa shows his disdain for the official's decision. Photo www.nicksellsphotography.com
A sight all too prevalent in recent matches in Cambodian football. Referee Thong Chankethya brandishes a yellow card at Naga's Meas Channa, one of fourteen, yes 14, that he flashed during Saturday's Phnom Penh Crown v Naga Corp cup semi-final. Oh, and he also issued 2 red cards as well. This referee really loves to write reports. It follows a couple of weeks after debutant referee Yien Kivatanak flashed 9 yellows, sent off 4 players from Kirivong and also whipped out two more red cards, but changed his mind and let the players stay on the pitch. Incredible. I really really want to talk about the great games, goals, skills and excitement on show but the refereeing statistics are getting in the way all too often. Obviously the players have to take their share of the blame - I think clubs in the UK face a heavy fine if six or more players are booked in one game - so that's something the Football Federation might consider in order to curb the player's over-the-top enthusiasm but something also needs to be done to lessen the match officials' penchant for yellow and red card waving too. It's a reporters' nightmare trying to keep track of the yellow card count especially when Thong Chankethya is the man in the middle.

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