The bib-wearers in action yesterday, removing an injured National Defense player from the pitch. The physio (in white) has a water bottle and ice-pack in hand. Photo Nick Sells
Watching so much Cambodian football has me wincing every time a player goes down and stays down with an injury. The reason is that the first thing the referee calls for is the stretcher-bearers rather than the team's physio. Okay, physio is stretching the word as none of the CPL teams have a trained physio that I'm aware of. However, the point is that, the referee is more interested in getting the injured player off the pitch so he can continue the game. That means that the stretcher-bearers, the guys with the red cross on their bibs, usually reach the player first and without a second thought, each grab a limb and lift him onto the stretcher and carry him off the pitch. Whether the player has a serious injury and cannot be moved doesn't appear to enter the equation. That's my problem with this apparent instruction from on high. Occasionally players break legs or worse and rough-handling from bib-wearing teenagers could cause more damage. The attending physio is usually more interested in bringing bottles of water onto the pitch than assessing the players' injury but in my view, a few seconds of proper assessment from the physio should be the first action taken, and only after his okay, should the bib-wearers be allowed to cart the player from the pitch. The welfare of the player is paramount, not restarting the game a few seconds earlier. Players of course, can help themselves by not feigning injury so often, which is a problem in the game at all levels and in all countries. The lack of qualified sports physios in Cambodia remains a concern. Even the national football team don't have one. This is one area that really needs to be looked at by the football federation and the clubs themselves pronto.
Labels: Cambodian Premier League