Sunday, May 29, 2011
Phnom Penh Crown will take to the Olympic Stadium field again today, just four days after successfully completing their AFC President's Cup, where they played three tough games in five days. So today will be their fourth match in nine days. In anyone's book that is too much to ask a team to play. However, not according to the football federation of Cambodia. They were asked to postpone today's game to give the Crown team some much needed rest, after the team represented both the country and the club so well in the top Asian cup competition. They refused, saying the programme couldn't be changed for numerous reasons. How about the welfare of the players as a reason? Fat chance. Request denied. So this afternoon, at 2pm - let's hope its cloudy and overcast and not humidly hot as it usually is - Crown will meet one of the in-form teams in the Metfone C-League, Kirivong Sok Sen Chey, and will also have to do it without three of their regulars, who are all suspended. Skipper Thul Sothearith (pictured) saw two yellows and a red card in the last league outing against BBU, whilst both Sun Sopanha and San Narith will miss out as they have both accumulated two yellow cards this season. Talking of yellows, the other Crown players who've picked up cautions to-date are Kenny Nwafor, Hong Ratana, Tieng Tiny and Chan Chaya. If they get another one, they'll be missing too. Which is a mockery in my opinion. Two yellows and you get suspended for 1 game - that's ridiculous. That is in effect giving immense power to the Cambodian match officials who are notorious for flashing cards at random in C-League matches. Teams will be affected by bad judgement calls from the referees, two slightly mistimed tackles and you could be sidelined for an important match. As an example of where the C-League is at odds with other disciplinary systems, in the Barclays Premier League, the world's top league, you are suspended after receiving five yellow cards, not a paltry two. FFC please take note.