Friday, January 20, 2012

Cup mockery

The Hun Sen Cup - now reduced to a club tournament rather than a serious cup competition
The Cambodia Football Federation have made a mockery of Cambodia's headline cup competition, the Hun Sen Cup, by turning it into what is essentially a club tournament over twelve days in which the two finalists will be expected to play no less than six games, ie. a game every two days. This is a pre-season tournament, which last season was spread over three months, but the FFC in their wisdom have decided that because the Cambodian U-21s have a crappy tournament in Brunei at the end of next month, that they will shoe-horn the country's most prestigious cup into a handful of days, giving teams and players absolutely no recovery time, at a stage of their preparation where they are nowhere near match fit. It is utterly bonkers. To add insult, the draw and competition dates have only been announced today, less than two weeks before the first matches. The words, couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery, are particularly apt. The first matches in Round 2 of the cup will be played on 1 February, with the group matches ending on the 6th. The quarter-finals will be played on 8th, the semi-finals on 10th and the final on 12th. A schedule which is guaranteed to exhaust the watching spectators, let along the players in each team. The matches will be played at both the Olympic Stadium and the usually grass-less Army (aka Old) Stadium.
For Phnom Penh Crown, drawn as the seeded team in Group D, their opponents will be Kratie on 2 Feb at the Army Stadium at 2pm. Kratie were runners-up in the 3-team northern group. Next up will be the National Police Commissary on 4 Feb at 2pm at Olympic Stadium. The Police finished in 7th place in the C-League last season, their first since promotion, but walked-off during a match with Crown in August. Crown's third game could be their toughest, as they meet new boys Boeung Ket Rubber Field from Kompong Cham, new faces in the C-League this coming season, who won their four qualifying matches at home in the eastern group. The game will be played at the Army Stadium on 6 Feb at 2pm. Their manager is former Crown boss Be Makara and they include starlet Keo Sokngorn in their ranks.

No comments: