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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Spoilsports sour football final

Spoilsports sour football final

WHILE football fans have been engrossed in the World Cup a mini-drama unfolded

at the first national youth football tournament after the governor of Prey Veng

withdrew his team home at the climax of the final because they could not juggle


Youths aged between 11 and 14 were selected to represent their

provinces in a knockout tournament running from June 9-11 which saw Prey Veng

and the Phnom Penh based World Trade team qualify for the final.

At the

end of regular time the teams were tied and the organizer of the tournament Faye

Diamil ordered a juggling competition. The winner would be the team able to keep

the ball in the air longest with their feet.

Senegalese Diamil said:

"The governor of Prey Veng who managed the team realized they were no good at

juggling. He wanted to change the regulations but was told this was impossible

so rather than face defeat he simply took his team home in bad


Diamil, who is an adviser to the National Olympic

Committee, said thousand of disappointed fans, who took time and spent money to

see Prey Veng, tore up their tickets and left the Olympic Stadium and went home

in disgust.

He said: "This is the fourth time in six months teams have

been bad sports and gone home halfway through tournaments. I am afraid this bad

habit may happen again when a team is selected to play in the international

matches against Thailand very soon."

He suggested the Olympic Committee

should take action to ban any team who does not respect the rules and


Dr May Samedi, First Vice Minister of the National Olympic

Committee of Cambodia, said: "The Committee would create regulations which would

stop the bad habit of teams walking out in the middle of tournaments. The

Committee can guarantee this sort of thing won't happen in international


The secretary-general to the Olympic Committee, Meas Sarim,

said: "Due to financial problems the teams had to take responsibility for

covering their own costs. Some teams found they couldn't afford to stay and

finish tournaments. The committee understands their problems."



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