Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shoe-horning into 3 months

Sabay have today announced that the Metfone C-League, which was postponed by the FFC until 1 July, will now cram all of its games into a 15-week window between 1 July and 11 October. With the re-introduction of the dreaded play-offs (they used the more genuine first past the post last season), that means all 22 league games for each club will be shoe-horned into twelve weeks of competition (necessitating both weekend and midweek matches for all, every week) and the play-offs will be held in a 3-week period to round it all off. There will be home & away for some clubs, the others without their own stadiums, will play all their matches on the new artificial surface at the Olympic Stadium. The 12-team league is being continued with CMAC likely to fill the slot vacated by Albirex's closure. The reason for this ultra-short 3-month season is that the Federation wish to hold some end of year tournaments, according to Sabay. Oh, and another spanner in the works is the World Cup. During this shortest-ever season on record, will be 3 World Cup matches; in early September Cambodia will play Japan and Syria and immediately after the play-off final, they meet Singapore. So there will be a club-v-country conundrum if top players are taken away from their clubs for training camps and forced to miss league matches. And just to add another spanner, the AFC Cup qualifiers will be held in August and Cambodia will have 1 team in that. With such a schedule, that won't allow any player time to recover from injuries or fatigue. A punishing program in anyone's book. On the bright side, for the fans there will be an abundance of football over the next few months, with many of the games being televised too.

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