Cancellation of men’s football in the 26th SEA Games – Like a joke

Problems that the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) may encounter, that is, the prohibition from participating in the 26th SEA Games though Indonesia is the host country make all the national football teams in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam very worried because that can lead to the cancellation of men’s football and futsal in this event.

Vietnam football team and fans’ celebration for their victory, a scene which may not be seen in the 26th SEA Games due to the high cancellation possibility (Photo:Dung Phuong)

Joko Driyono, Secretary-General of PSSI this week admitted that it was 2000% FIFA enforced their sanction against Indonesian football because of PSSI’s inner conflict and late election for new leader. PSSI have to try their best to change FIFA’s intention before next Monday or their football team will not be allowed to participate in the 2014 World Cup and even the 26th SEA Games.

The problem here is that Indonesia is the host country of the 26th SEA Games, so it is unbelievable that Indonesians still hold men’s football and futsal as planned before, even though their participation is not permitted. 

Although the organization of a sport depends on SEA Games Council’s opinion, the most important decision is still from the host country. Nguyen Trong Hy, President of Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), said if PSSI are punished by FIFA, the possibility that men’s football and futsal are both excluded from the 26th SEA Games will be very high.

Hy also adds that it is now too hard for PSSI to solve their problems before deadline due to the confusion and excess of applicants in the recently election for the President and Vice President positions.

VFF themselves do not want the cancellation of men’s football and futsal in the 26th SEA Games, but they cannot do anything if that is the host’s decision. Hy said, “The possibility of football’s cancellation is still very high. If it happens, Asian Football Federation will hold another tournament for men’s football, like the situation of women’s football, to stabilize the competition system.”

Falko Goetz’s luck
A few days ago, VFF has just announced the new coach for the Vietnam national and Vietnam Olympic football teams, Falko Goetz thanks to his agreement to help the Vietnam Olympic team win gold medal in the 26th SEA Games.

If there is not any football match in the 26th SEA Games, as Hy says, the contract between VFF and Coach Falko Goetz will still be signed because VFF’s goals do not only cover the gold medal in the 26th SEA Games but the title in the 2012 AFF Cup as well.

Hy asserts, “If gold medal in the 26th SEA Games is the matter, we can invite a domestic coach when no foreign coach is ready. It is not an impossible mission for a domestic coach who is well-prepared enough.”

On Goetz’s side, the absence of football in the 26th SEA Games may be his good news, because Vietnam football is often put high pressure on. VFF, on the other hand, feel anxious for they lose a chance to check the German coach’s ability.

With Vietnam football team and their fans, losing the opportunity to demonstrate their ability in the 26th SEA Games means missing something familiar and more than that, the gold medal from men’s football competition that Vietnamese have been waiting for during half a century.

By Yen Nhi – Translated by Huu Duy

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