PSC hints at boycott of Myanmar SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia is not hiding his disappointment at the way Myanmar is trying to run the 27th Southeast Asian Games.
The chief of the government sports agency said this early, Myanmar is trying to make sure that it ends up high in the standings in the Games set Dec. 11 to 22.
Garcia said the Philippines, which finished sixth overall and just ahead of Myanmar in the 2011 SEA Games Indonesia, is in great danger of falling down the ladder.
“I think we will definitely finish seventh and I hope not eighth,” said Garcia, who rued Myanmar’s inclusion of close to 60 events practically unknown to some countries.
Garcia also hit Myanmar’s decision to scrap Olympic events like badminton, lawn tennis and beach volleyball in favor of martial arts events like vovinam and kempo.
He said there’s nothing wrong with including traditional or indigenous sports in the calendar but not as many that it would have a great impact on the overall standings.
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Garcia said the Philippines should better consider sending just a token delegation. Of the 36 events the Filipinos won in 2011, 16 of them will not be played in Myanmar.
“Hindi puwede ito. We have to amend the rules and regulations. We should insist that Olympic sports should be included, and the others as demonstration sports that won’t reflect on the medal tally.
“They can put as many medals in vovinam as long as it will not reflect in the medal tally,” said Garcia, who sounded like he’s encouraging Philippine sports officials to make a formal protest.
“We must make a stand. If we get expelled by the (SEA Games) federation (by doing so) then so be it. It’s about time we make a clear stand,” said Garcia.
The PSC will fund the Philippine delegation, and Garcia feels there’s no use spending people’s money for athletes with no chances of winning the gold.
He was the first to bring up the idea of sending just a “token delegation” of around 50 or less athletes to Myanmar.
“We (can) just put a number of 50 athletes with good chances of winning the gold to show that we are in protest and to show that everything is not okay,” said Garcia.
“If we send a token delegation, we will be lucky to win 20 gold medals,” he added.