Cambodia, Myanmar, Timor Leste reset focus on SEA Games bid after mishaps | Inquirer Sports

Cambodia, Myanmar, Timor Leste reset focus on SEA Games bid after mishaps

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:52 PM November 24, 2019
Myanmar coach

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines—Velizar Popov, head coach of Myanmar’s under-22 national football team, decried the unfortunate incident his squad got into ahead of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Popov, though, and his players have already turned their focus to their campaign which begins against Malaysia Monday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.


“This is not a very positive story but I prefer not to get into much details about that because if you start looking for excuses on the first day then we’ll go nowhere,” said Popov in an interview with Sunday at Century Park Hotel.

“We came here with a task in hand and that’s our target, I’ll prefer to focus more on our performance and the game plan.


READ: Football teams suffer woes ahead of SEA Games opening

According to multiple reports, Popov and his team arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 Saturday afternoon and had to wait for a long time for the bus that would takem them to the hotel.

Not only did the bus arrive late, it was also not spacious enough to comfortably sit the team.

Cambodia, Timor Leste, and Thailand also had problems regarding transport and accommodation.

Thailand complained about having to squeeze in three people into rooms that can only accommodate two and the team had to cancel its scheduled practice at Biñan Football Stadium due to heavy traffic.

Cambodia, meanwhile, resorted to sleeping on the floor at one of Century Park’s conference halls since their rooms weren’t readily available upon their arrival.

“Things are not perfect but things happen,” said Cambodia head coach Felix Darmas. “We just have to wait a few hours to get picked up. It was not ideal, eight to nine hours to get into our hotel, but things happen.”


Timor Leste’s problems started the moment its football team landed after the buses arrived two-and-a-half hours later and the contingent was brought to a different hotel.

“Yesterday (Saturday) we got some problems at the airport and the hotel, I hope for the future it cannot happen again,” said Timor Leste head coach Fabiano Flora during a press conference. “All nations deserve respect. What happened yesterday was not a beautiful image.”

All of the football teams are housed at Century Park Hotel.

“This is already in the past and there’s no need to talk so much about it. As I see, obviously, most of the teams have the same problems so it’s not a big deal for me.”

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TAGS: 2019 SEA Games, Cambodia, Football, Myanmar, Soccer, Thailand, Timor Leste
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