Lee Tae-Hoon will remain in charge of the national team and will lead them into the Suzuki Cup. This is after what has been the most dismal set of results in Cambodian football history during the last 19 months of his reign. I was joking when I said he's had more lives than your average cat. But it's true. How the heck can this man keep his job, as the head coach of a national football team, when in any other country, indeed, any other walk of life, he has failed to produce time and again, in every competition, even when playing what are the minnows of world football. Just back from an embarrassing four-game debacle in Brunei in the U-21 (+ overage players) tournament, the FFC have been as quiet as a mouse, as they always are, hoping that public opinion and calls for the coach's head will die down after a day or two. When asked, the FFC general secretary has said that Lee Tae-Hoon will continue to lead Cambodia, but won't be involved in the new U-22 competition in June, so he has more time to concentrate on the Suzuki Cup. So, essentially they relieve him of the U-22 duties, which have been handed to Prak Somony, but give him their backing to continue the appalling job he's been doing for the past 19 months with the senior team. Absolutely mind-numbing. I don't believe that any other country would put up with this situation. If there had been some evidence of improvement in players, tactics, formations, anything really, then they might have a case. But there has been zero sign of improvement, in fact we are falling behind every other country in the region and are being left behind by the countries that were previously the whipping boys. That moniker now belongs to Cambodia under Lee Tae-Hoon. Cambodian football fans have lost all hope and confidence in this coach. The only backing he has is in the corridors of the FFC, who pointedly refuse and refute the wishes of the footballing public. That is the current state of international football in Cambodia.
Back to the AFF Suzuki Cup. The draw will be made on 11 July involving the five teams who will meet in Myanmar in October, with the top two teams qualifying to join the six seeded Asean teams. The five potential qualifiers are Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Timor Leste and hosts, Myanmar. Two from that line-up will join Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam to make up the eight-team finals to be held jointly in Malaysia and Thailand. This is the highlight of the international calendar for Cambodia this year and it appears that Lee Tae-Hoon is the man tasked with pulling rabbits out of a hat to ensure our qualification for the final round which will be held in December. With his record, that is never going to happen.