The SEA GAMES Sore Loser

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The dumb-ass Thai Prime Minister

The Southeast Asian Games is a biennal sports event participated in by countries in the ASEAN region namely: Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar, Laos, Timor Leste, Brunei and Vietnam. This year's edition is being held in the Philippines.

Not surprisingly, the host country is leading the medals race by a wide margin over its' nearest rival Vietnam. As you can imagine, competing infront of your countrymen gives an athlete the morale booster.

As the games enter the 5th day of competition, some of the participating countries, particularly Thailand, are complaining of biased officiating. The report below I will paste for you to see.


Manila (dpa) - Allegations of cheating in Philippine politics has spilled over into the sports world there as Thailand today finally expressed public concerns over biased judging at the ongoing 23rd Southeast Asian Games. With the host Philippines leading in the overall standings on the fourth day of the 10-day biennial sporting event, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra questioned the fairness of the results of the competitions. Chaipak Siriwat, vice president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, said the Thai people who have been watching the games live in their homes have expressed dismay over the officiating.

He said that while there were no official complaints yet from
Thai delegates, he has already ordered Thai sports officials attending the Games in the Philippines to closely monitor all events. "Every member of the Thailand National Olympic Committee has been dispatched to monitor the different games scheduled for today," he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa this afternoon in a telephone interview. Chaipak added that he would raise the concerns over officiating during a scheduled meeting Thursday of the Southeast Asian Games council. The Philippines has so far collected the most medals with 42 golds, 24 silvers and 28 bronzes. Vietnam, the overall champion in the 2003 Games, was within striking distance with 25 golds, 23 silvers and 30 bronzes. Thailand was in third place with 19 golds, 29 silvers and 35 bronzes.

According to media reports from Thailand, Thaksin was more candid than Chaipak in expressing his doubts over the fairness in officiating. "Normally, I have no time to watch sports, but I often watched these Games and kept thinking, 'Why do results turn out to be that way?'" he said. "I don't know what to say." Thaksin added that he might raise the medal issue on the sidelines of the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Malaysia in December. "If the SEA Games continue to be like this, then it will become less popular because they have put a priority for medals over athletic spirit," he said.

The Philippine organizing committee took exception to the criticism, noting that the conduct of the Games were under the supervision and control of the Southeast Asian Games Federation and its pool of international referees and judges. "There are strict regulations governing the conduct of the competitions," the committee said in a statement. "When contests are in progress, it is our understanding that no judge or referee from the competing athlete or team's nation participates." The committee assured that the Philippines "stands together with other participating countries, including Thailand, in the commitment to the highest standards of sportsmanship and fair play in the Games".

A Vietnamese sports official was the first to raise alarm over the possibility that the host would fix the results in a bid to win the country's first overall crown.
Two weeks before Sunday's start of the Games, the head of the Vietnamese delegation, Nguyen Van Minh, told reporters in Hanoi that the Philippines had already fixed the results to ensure a victory for the host., the website for the Ho Chi Minh-based Than Nien Daily newspaper, quoted Nguyen as saying that under the fixed results, the Philippines will get 120 golds, Thailand 90, Indonesia and Vietnam 60 to 70, and Malaysia 50 to 60. According to the report, Nguyen added that to ensure the scheme would work, "The organizers planned to have referees mostly from Southeast Asian countries." He also reportedly pointed out that during the 2003 Games in Hanoi, the referees were from "non-regional countries to make sure everything was seen to be above board".

Nguyen's comments touched a raw nerve among sports officials in the Philippines, which has been facing a five-month political crisis triggered by allegations that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her camp cheated in the May 2004 presidential elections.
While Arroyo has survived an impeachment bid in the House of Representatives in September, nationwide surveys showed that a majority of Filipinos still believe she cheated and did not win last year's hotly contested vote.

Arroyo has been the number 1 cheerleader for Filipino athletes in the ongoing Games and has watched some of the competitions. In a karatedo match won by the Philippines, sh
e was even the one who awarded the gold medal to the winner, Filipino Nelson Pacalso.

The Philippines is hoping to win its first-ever overall crown in the 56-year-old Games.
Since the first staging of the Games in 1959, Thailand won the overall crown nine times while Indonesia closely followed with eight championships. Other winners in the competition have been Myanmar (Burma) in 1961 and 1969, Malaysia in 2001 and Vietnam in 2003.


I see the games live on TV everyday and I see no bias. To Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, don't be a sore loser. Give my countrymen the respect and honor they deserve because they prepared hard for this. As far as I'm concerned, Thai Prime Minister Shinawatra is the dumbest head of state in the ASEAN region. Please shut up and accept the fact that The Filipino athlete is a cut above the rest.


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