Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pipe-dream for Crown

The word on the street was that an invitation for Cambodia's league champions to play in the AFC Cup next season was on the table, which would've catapulted Cambodia into the next sphere of Asian continental football. Instead, the invitation remained unopened by the Cambodian football federation and because of their lethargy, Myanmar have picked up the baton and look likely to get the nod for 2012. How short-sighted of the FFC. That means Phnom Penh Crown will again take part in the AFC President's Cup, the competition for twelve league champions from countries regarded by the AFC's Vision Asia program as Emerging Nations. This does not take into account the FIFA World Ranking but has everything to do with a country's football competitiveness, professionalism, marketability and the financial status of the league and its clubs. The AFC President's Cup is the third tier of cup competition, the AFC Cup is the second tier lying under the AFC Champions League, which is for Mature Nations and competed for by the top 14 countries in the AFC region. The moniker for the AFC Cup is for Developing Nations, and though the competition has been dominated by west Asian countries since its formation, it certainly includes countries and teams, 32 in all, that would've been exciting to be involved with. The southeast Asian countries include Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Maldives, whilst the west Asian countries are India, Kuwait, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Oman, Lebanon, Yemen and Uzbekistan. Myanmar look set to join in that party. In their place, Mongolia have put their hand up to join the AFC President's Cup, with group games tentatively scheduled for the first two weeks of May 2012. The country champions will come from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Mongolia, if accepted. So for the time being, playing in the AFC Cup will remain a pipe-dream for Phnom Penh Crown.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if cambodian stadium have the necessary facilities to be hosting the Cup matches.
Not sure for the Cup facilities requirement but I know for sure that in order to qualify for the Champion League, AFC will need to inspect the stadium, lightings, changing room etc.... maybe thats why the FFC does not want to be involve in the upper tier of AFC competition ...hans

Andy Brouwer said...

Indeed, for Cambodia to be accepted into the next tier, the AFC Cup, the Federation would have to do some work. God forbid. They would have to satisfy criteria set down by the AFC competitions committee. That sounds like hard work. Hence why the FFC did nothing with the invitation. Very sad state of affairs.
Meanwhile, Myanmar took up the challenge of the entry requirements, formed a committee themselves to determine what needed to be done, and how to do it. Whether they will achieve entry remains to be seen, but at least they gave their full support and efforts towards achieving the entry requirements. The FFC can learn lessons from the Myanmar FA.

Anonymous said...

I am really disappointed to hear that FFC did nothing with the invitation. Tooo bad! Speechless!