The Cambodian national team meet Laos in a FIFA World Cup 1st qualifying match next Wednesday, less than a week away. That's right, the World Cup, the most important competition for any international team on the planet. But not in the eyes of the Cambodian football federation and their South Korean coach. In their preparation they have played the Malaysian U-23 Olympic team. Yes, you are not mistaken, one meaningless friendly. Today they play their second, even more meaningless practice match, against a team from one of the provinces in the Mekong Delta. Does it get any more piss-poor than this? The contempt for the country's football fans who would dearly love to see Cambodia win World Cup matches is shocking. Instead of pitting themselves against some of the region's international teams or even top quality club opposition in Thailand, Singapore or Vietnam, the federation have got a game against a Vietnamese 1st Division team. And in the run-up to the game, there is total confusion about the correct name of the opposition. I wouldn't be surprised if a local pub team turns up for the game, still pissed from the night before. It's that level of pathetic arrangements that are the hallmark of the federation. There has been confusion about whether it's the Kien Giang provinicial U-23 team, or Kien Giang FC (no such team exists) or Kienlongbank Kien Giang, who are the most likely opponents, as they are on a mid-season break from their Division 1 duties. Whoever it is, it's effectively scraping the barrel type preparation for the national team ahead of their World Cup double-header but it's in line with the thinking process of the South Korean Coach of the Cambodian team, Lee Tae-Hoon, who couldn't care less about the World Cup. He will tell anyone who asks him that his focus is on the SEA Games in November. Beating Laos over the home and away legs and going onto meet China in the World Cup doesn't interest him. Whatever the focus, a game against a minor team from the Mekong Delta isn't something that will get my juices flowing, so I'll give today's game a wide berth. Added to that, no Phnom Penh Crown players will be appearing either (so I was told). I've much more important things to do. I'll bring you the result later, but does anyone really care?
Well, at least the Cambodian national team didn't lose in their practice match against the visiting team from the Vietnamese 2nd tier of football from Kien Giang province. Tum Saray scored twice before the visitors got one back. Chin Chhoeurn netted just before the break and them Phuong Soksana and Sam El Nasa wrapped up a 5-1 win. A little bird tells me that the four Crown players in the national squad played a part in the game, when I was informed they would be rested ahead of our important league match on Saturday. I am very unhappy to hear this news. It flies in the face of all reason. This was a pointless match against minor opposition. If the players are injured or tired for Crown's important game in two days time, then the FFC and the national coach should be held accountable. I was hopping mad after Monday's performance, and now I'm seething again.