There's a story on the back page of today's Phnom Penh Post that effectively gives the Cambodian Football Federation's so-called response to remarks made by Scott O'Donell when I interviewed him recently regarding his decision not to stay in the job at the end of his contract, which finishes this month. In it, May Tola, the FFC spokesman implies that Scott didn't understand how the federation works and was unwilling to work around the complications of arranging friendly international matches. In essence, it's a face-saving piece from the FFC who are now looking to get a South Korean coach on the cheap, or failing that, a local coach. To be frank, it beggars belief. If the FFC were professional and passionate about the national team, they would've bust a gut to support a coach that clearly knows his stuff and had presented a plan of action for the 10 months leading up to crucial games in October. They have failed miserably in their duty to the national team and if the spokesman's thinking pans out, they may play a friendly or two in the month prior to the series of cruicial matches in October, that have World Cup and Suzuki Cup qualifying as their goal. He also stated that there is no desperate pressure to get a new coach. If that is their idea of suitable preparation then there is absolutely no hope for Cambodian football in the international arena in the foreseeable future. They can make all the excuses they like about a 'crowded domestic programme' and 'problems with resource mobilization' but they are simply inept excuses that won't cut the mustard with anyone that has a brain. The Cambodian players and the Cambodian public deserve better.
The article here in the PPP is by H S Manjunath, an Indian sports journo who is in the country for a few months and doing some freelance work for the Post. He was reporting for them on the day that Wilson Mene died at the Olympic Stadium.