Photo by: NICK SELLS (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Referee Thong Chankithya (centre) shows a yellow card to a player during the league match between the Army team and Kirivong Saturday.
Clubs made to pay for cards
In a bid to improve fair play in the 2010 Metfone C-League, the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) has decided to penalise clubs for yellow and red cards administered to their players. According to FFC vice president Khiev Sameth, teams will be fined 20,000 riels (US$4.82) for each booking and 50,000 riels for each dismissal. “This is to help improve fair play and reduce reckless tackles by players,” said Khiev Sameth.
When asked whether the fines would encourage referees to dish out cards to help the federation generate revenue, the vice president said that match officials would be discouraged from abusing their authority. “We are giving each club subsidies to support themselves and ensure fair play,” said Khiev Sameth. “So we would certainly caution referees not to be careless in the way they handle matches, and the fines will serve as a way of getting back what we give to clubs whose players are indisciplined.”
Dearth of referees continues
The FFC was left with just three referees to handle the first five matches of the 2010 Metfone C-League. A lack of qualified match officials has been made even worse by the two-week-long high school tournament playing out in Svey Rieng province.
The three referees available for league matches until the end of the high school games are 28-year-old Thong Chankithya, 26-year-old Yean Ky Vatanak, 29-year-old Saing Sopheak.
Be Makara bemoans Super 4
Phnom Penh Crown manager Be Makara is lamenting the FFC’s decision to include the Super 4 playoff format at the end of the regular season once again. The outspoken boss was understandably frustrated to see his team finish fourth in the competition last year, despite finishing top of the league table, and miss out on making a repeat appearance in the AFC President’s Cup. Naga Corp will instead play in the competition this year after triumphing in the Super 4 final to clinch the domestic trophy.
“I don’t know why the league leaders cannot be given the ticket to the AFC President’s Cup,” said Be Makara. “I am really disappointed that we have missed the chance to better our performance [from last year]. I think the federation should allow the league champions to go into the AFC President’s Cup, and they can organise another tournament for the top four if they so desire.”
Meanwhile, Crown await the invitation to play in the Singapore Cup this season, with the manager stating his intent on improving their second-round showing last year.