Friday, December 6, 2013

Blowing in the wind

You can literally hear the wind blowing through the corridors of power at the football federation of Cambodia. The doors are all closed and no-one is venturing out of the safety of their office for fear of being asked questions. Phones have been switched off and everyone is keeping mum. Meanwhile, the Cambodia U-23 squad is in Yangon, preparing to play their opening SEA Games match against the hosts Myanmar early tomorrow evening, minus four of their most experienced players, left behind in Phnom Penh and surrounded by a fog of uncertainty. There was the tiniest thread of confirmation from the head of the FFC, President Sao Sokha, who told the Phnom Penh Post newspaper yesterday: "[The FFC] never does anything without adequate reasons, and the reason [for the sackings] is likely to spoil our nation’s reputation.” So that tells us something but without any real meat on the bones or the reason behind the exclusion of Keo Sokngon, Sok Rithy, Say Piseth and Tum Saray, as well as team manager Chhaing Pisedth, from the SEA Games just a few days before they begin. Both Sokngon and Rithy have been regulars for the Cambodian national team since 2008. Social media has been awash with rumours but it's not expected there will be any official confirmation until after the team return from Myanmar.
The reduced squad of sixteen players - which means Cambodia are severely restricted in their playing options - who will take on Myanmar (7 Dec), Indonesia (9 Dec), Timor Leste (12 Dec) and Thailand (16 Dec) in the group stages of the SEA Games football competition, are:

Phnom Penh Crown: Sou Yaty, Sos Suhana, Bin Thierry.
National Police: Srey Oudom.
Army: Chhin Chhoeun, Phoung Soksana, Khek Khemrin, Ke Vannak.
Svay Rieng: Sar Sophea, Prak Mony Udom.
Boeung Ket: Chan Vathanaka, Sok Pheng, Touch Pancharong, Chhun Sothearath, Sok Sovan, Ros Samoeun.


Anonymous said...

Not over age?

Andy Brouwer said...

To be honest, the age cheating scenario is yesterday's news. I have brought this up time & again but of course nothing changes. This has been a problem in Cambodian football for many years - doctoring passports so that players appear younger than they really are. If you compare players birthdates over a period of time, then miraculously quite a few national team players manage to get younger, whilst everyone else on the planet is getting older. Maybe its something in the water! How FIFA or AFC have not noticed it, is beyond me. It doesn't take a genius to see it.

All I know is that players at U14 and U16 levels in the national team are not affected. They are playing under their correct birthdates, verified by their family books, and so I sincerely hope age cheating will die out with the current crop of adult players, once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Andy, what's the reason? Is it about match-fixing? Last time coach Lee was in charge there was talk of match-fixing and spot-betting and a subsequent FFC investigation into the Cambodia vs Laos World Cup qualifiers results that came to nothing. Can these 4 players be replaced?

Anonymous said...

I, as other fans, am from the outside, but we suspects re the ages of a few players. Why those who are always with the players and work closely with them several years cant notice that?

If the 4 players dismissed because of the age, its so ashamed. Because it should have noticed it long before SEA Game. The support we have for the U-23 for this sea game since the begining of team mobilization is now just worthless by this recent news re the players. Its just repeated/chronic disease. Nothing new and no surprise for me for this to happen under the type of FFC leadership. I dont expect cambodia football will give light soon in the international stage under the current leadership. So hopeless. Ratha

Andy Brouwer said...

The players cannot be replaced.
Yes there was speculation in Lee's 1st spell in charge of suspect results, especially in the World Cup against Laos. As you said the FFC investigation found nothing. Presumably that meant the FIFA investigation found nothing too, at the time.

Ratha, Re players ages....the people in charge know the players ages. Most of these players have been in the national team system at varying age levels for a few years. I leave you to draw your own conclusions on that one.