I am finding it very hard to hold my tongue with the news I've received this afternoon. Just two days before Phnom Penh Crown meet the Army (at 2.30pm on Sunday at Olympic Stadium), Crown have just received notice from the football federation that they have slapped a further 2-match ban on midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, following his red card against Boeung Ket on 11 July. So effectively, the work coach David Booth has been doing with his team this week, with Frimpong expected to line-up on Sunday, has just gone down the pan. How the heck can the FFC conjure up another two-game suspension so long after the event? Frimpong was sent off by referee Neang Sorithya after the final whistle for words he allegedly directed at the match referee. He received a two-match ban and missed the games against Chhlam Samuth and BBU. The Ghanaian returned to action last weekend against Kirivong. Then out of the blue came the letter from the president of the match committee informing the club that Frimpong has been banished for another two matches. There is no official reason quoted for the suspension. The FFC state they have made the decision because of the "player attitude," quoting match regulations and FIFA principle. I can only assume, because they are not at all clear in their reasoning, that Frimpong must've been shown the red card for using offensive, racist, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures. But that's a guess. The FFC have failed in their most basic duty to stipulate why. And how did they allow him to re-appear last weekend before enacting a second suspension. It simply beggars belief.
Crown captain Kouch Sokumpheak visited a specialist surgeon in Ho Chi Minh City today and will go under the knife tomorrow for surgery to his knee ligament injury sustained in a challenge with Boeung Ket goalkeeper Peng Bunchhay on 11 July. It is believed the injury is to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, and that the surgery will fix the damage. The likelihood for recovery from such a procedure/injury is six months of rehabilitation before being ready to make a return to the team. We will have to wait for the surgeon's opinion before we know for sure. Of course, we wish Sokumpheak the best of luck and a full recovery.