Thursday, March 13, 2014

Naga lose the plot

Fun and games in the third place play-off for the Hun Sen Cup on Wednesday. I didn't go so missed all the shenanigans but it sounds like NagaCorp completely lost the plot at an injury-time penalty award in favour of Boeung Ket by referee Lim Bunthoeun. Temperatures were high anyway after a see-saw game which was pegged at 3-3 when Bunthoeun caused the uproar, just as everyone assumed the game was heading into extra time. Naga objected, very strongly by the pictures I've seen, and refused to allow Boeung Ket to take the penalty, standing between the penalty spot and the goal-line. The referee retreated and after fifteen minutes of time-wasting, he blew his whistle to end the game. Match result 3-3 but of course Naga quite rightly deserve to forfeit the match because of their unprofessional behaviour. Player power cannot be allowed to influence matches. Earlier in the game Boeung Ket were guilty of similar histrionics when Naga were awarded a penalty and Touch Pancharong was seen to push the referee in the chest. No action was taken. Bunthoeun isn't one of the country's most experienced referees, having been on the panel a relatively short time and will now be in Naga's bad books for the rest of his career. As for Naga, the FFC should fine them heavily and warn their players and management that this cannot happen again. In fact it has happened already, when Naga threatened to walk off in a game against Phnom Penh Crown three years ago. The FFC have got to take decisive action to warn clubs about this type of behaviour which clearly brings the game into disrepute. There have been a series of similar incidents over the last few years and its got to stop. Now.

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