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PH plans appeal on ‘liberal’ SEAG roster policy

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Facing the specter of another lowly finish in the coming Myanmar Southeast Asian Games, the Philippines will ask the SEA Games Federation to review its policies regarding the selection of events in every staging of the competition.

Asserting that the host country is being given too much liberty in choosing the events in the Games, Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia said yesterday that he expects the Philippine Olympic Committee to recommend steps on how not to abuse the practice.

Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., the POC president, will soon host the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, and Garcia said it’s a perfect chance for the POC to air its sentiment on the SEA Games.

“The federation can discuss with the member countries what to do in the next SEA Games,” said Garcia in yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate. “(Hosts) should stick to Olympic sports or traditional games like bowling or wushu.”

Garcia added that indigenous sports can also be included as long as they don’t reflect in the final medal tally.

“That way there will be no distinct advantage to the host country,” said Garcia, referring to Myanmar, which is hosting the SEA Games from Dec. 11 to 22.

According to Garcia, Myanmar has included close to 60 events that are practically unknown to some countries.

Myanmar, which placed seventh—a rung lower than the Philippines, among 11 countries in 2011—scratched Olympic sports like gymnastics, tennis, and beach volleyball, and inserted events that other countries hardly play.

“The host countries are being given too much leeway to include certain sports and sometimes it can be abused,” Garcia said in the forum presented by the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp. and Shakey’s.


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