Saturday, August 6, 2011

Police walk off

Crown coach David Booth and his players look nonplussed by events at Olympic Stadium today
No-one can say that Cambodian football is boring with nothing to write home about. It's exactly the opposite. Today it was for all the wrong reasons, again. This time it involved my own club, Phnom Penh Crown. 24 minutes into today's Metfone C-League game against the National Police, their skipper Sophal Udom was cautioned for a dangerous tackle on Tieng Tiny. Whilst Tiny was getting treatment, one of the Crown substitutes, Phoung Narong, raced onto the pitch but was quickly grabbed by Sun Sopanha and shooed back off again. Referee Thong Chankethya immediately flashed the red card at Narong. The 4th official then brought the referee's attention to Police defender Touch Pancharong, supposedly the target of Narong's failed dash, and the referee brandished his red card again. Narong got his for entering the field of play without permission, Pancharong got his for foul and abusive language. As Pancharong walked off, the Police coaching staff waved their players off the field, leaving the referee and the Crown players on the pitch. Thong Chankethya waited another three minutes after the Police team left the field and then blew his whistle on 30 minutes to finish the game, awarding the match to Crown. The public address announced that Crown had been given the match with a 3-0 scoreline. Fifteen minutes later, another announcement confirmed that National Police had forfeited the match and that Crown had been awarded a 5-0 victory by the match commissioner. A totally unsatisfactory end result to a match that had began so brightly for both teams.

With the game being televised live on TVK, a downpour greeted the teams as they entered the field. It was only just over a month ago that Crown beat Police 2-0 at the Old Stadium with two Police players getting red cards. The C-League newcomers started well and were on top when Sophal Udom scuffed his shot across the face of the Crown goal on seven minutes. Three minutes later and Crown turned that around with a stunning opening goal. Sun Sopanha fed Kingsley Njoku who back-heeled the ball into the path of Sun Sovannrithy and his 22 yard thunderous drive crashed into the net off the underside of the crossbar. Kouch Sokumpheak headed a Njoku cross wide of the mark before Crown added to their lead through their Japanese import on 22 minutes. Thul Sothearith lost and then regained the ball and fed Takahito Ota inside the penalty area and after a touch to settle himself, he blasted the ball past the Police keeper. Two minutes later, Sophal Udom left his foot in on Tiny and as we waited for the restart, all hell broke loose. Both Narong and Pancharong began their verbal tug-of-war in jokey fashion before it turned ugly and they exchanged swear words according to a couple of the players. I fully expect Crown to take internal disciplinary action against Narong, pending action from the Federation who will no doubt look into the circumstances which put another black mark against the C-League.
Crown line-up: Bunchhay, Sovannrithy, Sothearith, Tiny, Obadin, Narith, Ota, Sopanha, Chaya, Njoku, Sokumpheak. Subs not used: Visokra, Dara, Sovan, Vanthan, Sophat, Sochivorn, Narong, Rathanak, Ratana, S Pheng, H Pheng. Bookings: Narong (red card).
Postscript: Phoung Narong has been suspended indefinitely by Crown for his actions during the match against National Police.
Crown line-up v Police: Back Row LtoR: Ota, Narith, Tiny, Obadin, Sovannrithy, Bunchhay. Front Row: Sopanha, Njoku, Sokumpheak, Sothearith, Chaya
The National Police team just 30 minutes before they all walked off
Referee Thong Chankethya with the captains and his coin, in the pouring rain
Thul Sothearith heads the Crown line as the heavens open up captures myself alongside Bouy Dary and David Booth, trying to work out why the Police would simply walk off and refuse to continue


Anonymous said...

Law and order! Isnt that supposed to be the National Police Commissary's responsibility'- roll on the FFC's disciplinary hearing.

Anonymous said...