Monday, June 6, 2011
Cambodian national team are preparing for their game against the Malaysian Olympic team (effectively their u-23 side) tomorrow afternoon, with two days of familiarization training at the national football center outside of the city. Part of their preparation was this team photo, taken at 7.30am this morning. The Cambodians have their important World Cup qualifying games against Laos coming up soon, 29 June at home to be precise, with the away leg on 3 July. The suggestion is that the South Korean coach of the national team, Lee Tae-Hoon, doesn't give two hoots about the World Cup and is focusing his efforts on the longer-term policy of getting the country's U-23 team in shipshape fashion ready for the SEA Games in November. If it's true, it's about as bonkers as they come. Someone needs to remind him and the football federation that the FIFA World Cup is as big as it gets in football terms. And if Cambodia manage to defeat Laos over the two legs, they will meet China. Has anyone at the FFC heard of China? It happens to be the biggest country in the world and matches against the Chinese are exactly what the footballing public want, not some half-arsed theory that improving our appalling SEA Games record is the main focus. In actual fact we want to do both, but the World Cup is the most pressing and beating Laos is a definite possibility, with our best eleven on the pitch. That includes our Thai-based players, who the coach has refused point-blank to consider for the two games. As I said, absolute bonkers.