Sunday, October 16, 2011
Lions Prioritize SEA Games
The SEA Games is only an Under 23 competition. In Europe it may get a few column inches but in this part of the world it is seen as far more important than the World Cup. The reason? Countries stand mare chance of achieving something among their local rivals. Malaysia winning the last one was the springboard to success in the SEA Games big brother, the ASEAN Cup.
Already this year we have seen countries like Cambodia come out and say the SEA Games is of more value than a World Cup run. Now Singapore have basically said the same thing, admitting that Under 23 players who have been on World Cup duty will be allowed to miss the next two qualifiers to play in the regional competition being hosted in Jakarta.
The plain fact is that South East Asian football is so far behind the rest of Asia, let alone the world, that thinking beyond the local stage is to invite humiliation after humiliation results wise. No thought is given to players improving their knowledge by playing bigger teams on a regular basis. And you can be sure no one will have considered Sri Lanka who went from cricket whipping boys to world champions in a generation...by playing with the big boys all the bloody time.
Still, what do I know? I'm just a non-Asian geezer with too much free time!