Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The big kick off
Whilst we await the latest international showing by Cambodia - though if they lose to Timor Leste in Brunei tonight, then they should forget their last match and come back home early - I should bring you the matches in the opening round of the Metfone C-League. Now don't think these fixtures are written in stone. Last season, the federation published the fixture list only to change it a day or two later, so I can't guarantee the accuracy of these matches. I'm sure the FFC wanted to open the season with the champions Phnom Penh Crown meeting the Hun Sen Cup winners, Preah Khan Reach, but that's not possible as PKR are playing in the Malaysian FA Cup on 10 March. So instead they've given the dubious honour to last season's runners-up Naga Corp, who will meet the National Police team at Olympic Stadium on Saturday 10 March at 2pm. Two hours later, newboys Boeung Ket Rubber Field FC (yes, that's really their name) will face off against Kirivong. The next day, BBU meet Chhlam Samuth and the Army take on another team of new faces, Western University. Then there's a 10-day break in the list - I have no idea why, maybe the pages of the fixture coordinator's diary got stuck together - before Crown and Preah Khan get to meet head-on, on Wednesday 21 March, in the scorching heat of a 2pm kick-off time. The first round of the C-League campaign begins on 10 March and ends on 23 May. The second round starts a week later, 30 May and runs until 29 July. For reasons known only to themselves and flying in the face of football tradition and the culture of first past the post, the federation have re-introduced the Super 4 play-offs again this year. The top 4 finishers at the end of the regular domestic season will scrap it out for the title of champions. Effectively a sprint instead of a marathon, with the play-off final earmarked for Sunday 12 August. I don't agree with it but when have the federation ever listened to common sense.