Wednesday, July 27, 2011
BIDC Cup, which by all accounts will be held at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh between the 6-17 October and has the moniker of the Mekong Region U-21 International BIDC Cup 2011 (aka MRIBIDC Cup - sorry that bit's tongue in cheek). I stupidly thought it was serious preparation for Cambodia's SEA Games football squad, which of course is competed for at U-23 level, and which will take place between 11-22 November. So when I heard it had been flagged as an U-21 competition, I wondered why we would go to the trouble of hosting it, if not everyone in our U-23 squad couldn't take part. Now I gather that it's actually intended as an U-19 tournament, which is moving even further away from my expectation. Hence my confusion, and it's not been helped by the, so far, rather scant information coming from the hosts, the Cambodian football federation. So what do we know so far. There will be six teams coming from the following countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. I think they will national squads from those countries but I've not heard definite confirmation of that. You may recall that the previous edition of the BIDC Cup in 2009 had both, two national teams and two club teams, and the Cambodian U-23 team won it. The 6 teams taking part will be split into two groups. There will be semi-finals on 10 October and the final two days later, with the winning team picking up a $20,000 cheque from the sponsors, the Vietnamese Bank BIDC. The latest I've heard is that Vietnam will definitely use the competition to give their U-19 national squad some practice before they take part in the AFC U-19 2012 Championship qualifiers being held at the end of the same month. Cambodia will not be taking part in those qualifiers, but the other five BIDC competing countries will. The following federations decided against competing in the AFC U-19 Championships: Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Timor Leste. That's all I have for now. It looks like it maybe a tournament of U-19 national teams except the Cambodian squad, who will be U-21, who will be preparing for the U-23 SEA Games. Do you get my drift? Confusion reigns.