[Re 'In defense of sports deal', letters, PP Post, June 13-26.] Regarding the
Japanese grant aid for sport, it seems that the final word has been pronounced -
comprehensive support from the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) for
the original proposals. However, to clarify a few details:
- 98% of the value of the order (including 100 hurdles at $400 each, etc) will
come from the Senoh Company of Japan.
- Of the nine recipient Cambodian sports federations, seven had proposed amendments
in the document submitted to the Japanese Embassy in January 1997. Of these seven,
three had no foreign input.
- The Japanese Embassy intends to provide additional judo mats in a separate aid
package. This action is commendable since it corrects the original "Judo Fed'
order for the wrong number of competition mats. But it also exposes the Embassy's
acknowledgment of problems and their unwillingness to address them through document
- Regarding athletics, I do not claim to be an "expert" in anything.
However, the AAAA Asian Athletics Development Officer who came to Phnom Penh in November
1996 to instruct the KAAF track and field officials deserves a little more respect.
- There was plenty of time to review the order. Contracts were exchanged on 19
- Unless schedules have changed, no equipment is even in Yokohama port yet.
If anyone wishes to refute these statements, please can we do it publicly, with
all concerned sports federations present and all documents, etc, to hand.
The Embassy and the NOCC both note that by this aid package Cambodia gets "something"
- quite a big "something" in some sports. I agree. However, who precisely
are the real beneficiaries of this deal? Should Cambodian sport feel grateful or
- Cathal Kerr, Phnom Penh.