It's hard to find the right words to describe the level of chicanery and jiggery-pokery unveiled by the football federation of Cambodia yesterday. Just 5 days before the start of the new Metfone C-League season, and only a week after the season's fixtures were announced, the federation have decided to re-design the opening set of games, week 1, as they call it. There was already a whiff of artificiality in the fixtures, which had paired Phnom Penh Crown and Preah Khan in the final game of the first half of the season, and then the very last match of the campaign. These two teams are expected to be the League's frontrunners this season, with Crown the reigning champions and Preah Khan having just won the Hun Sen Cup competition. With all ten C-League teams already well into planning their week 1 matches, tactically preparing their teams to face their known opponents, the federation informed them yesterday that they'd arbitrarily changed all of the week 1 matches. In their place they were substituting week 9 with week 1. So instead of Saturday's opening match between Phnom Penh Crown and Naga Corp, the federation have decided that the season opener should now be between Crown and Preah Khan (3pm), with all the other teams following suit and changing their opponents too. Mind-boggling is one way of describing it. The primitive way in which the federation's administrators run their domestic competition makes a mockery of the etiquette of football. I can't believe that any other FIFA recognized country would be quite so blatant in their wanton disregard for the most fundamental set of principles on how to administer a national league competition. My flabber is well and truly gasted.
The revised fixtures for week 1 are now:
Sat 2 Apr : Phnom Penh Crown v Preah Khan Reach (3pm)
Sun 3 Apr: Naga Corp v National Police (2pm)
Kiriviong v Prek Pra (4pm)
Wed 6 Apr: Army v Rithisen (2pm)
BBU v Chhlam Samuth (4pm)