Friday, September 25, 2009

Bit of a shambles

23 of the 25-man Cambodia Under-23 squad line up with the coaching staff after this morning's press conference
The national team's coaching staff. LtoR: Bouy Dary, Van Piseth, Scott O'Donell (coach) and Prak Sovanny
At 9am this morning, a press conference at the Olympic Stadium gave the television and newspaper press corps the opportunity to find out more about the Cambodian Under-23 national team that will travel to Laos to challenge for the SEA Games football medals. It was pretty disorganized to be honest, the conference room was too small for the number of attendees (at least 20 news outlets were invited; they forgot to invite me), there was no translation into English so it was aimed strictly at the local press, the cameramen muscled in and stuck their cameras everywhere, the media boys didn't stop talking amongst themselves, mobile phones continually went off, just about everything that would never happen at a 'serious' press conference was allowed to happen at this one. I know it's only a press conference but being professional about these things doesn't take a genius to arrange. Anyway the cameras from Apsara, CTN, Bayon, etc were stuck in my face a few times when I asked questions so I should be on the news programmes tonight, especially as I was the only barang besides Scott O'Donell, the national team coach. Scott, the team manager Vann Ly and general secretary Ouk Sethycheat were the ones answering questions, though Vann is recently appointed and even though I attend nearly every one of the CPL games, I'd never clapped eyes on the federation's general secretary before. Scott repeated a fair bit of what he told me during our interview a couple of days ago, especially as I asked the same questions, just to give the press boys a bit more information. Their own questions were very limited and repetitive. The coach also promised, "I'll guarantee that each player will give 100% and do their country proud," when asked about their commitment. The general secretary responded to my question about incentives, saying that the government will pay each player 24 million riel ($6,000) if they win the gold medal, 16 million riel for silver and 8 million riel for bronze, in addition to their salary and daily expenses. The team will spend most of October and the latter half of November in training camp in Vietnam, where they will play five matches in the first spell and another two games in the second stint against club sides from the Vietnam League. They have a mini-tournament in Phnom Penh early in November and when they reach the SEA Games, they are guaranteed at least 3 games in the group stages. All in all, a very busy couple of months following their opening match against Singapore this Sunday. After an hour, the proceedings came to a close and the squad went onto the pitch for a team photograph before dispersing. At no stage during the press conference did anyone ask the players a question.
Van Piseth, left, assistant coach, translates a question to Scott O'Donell, the national coach
The top table at the press conference. LtoR: Van Piseth, Scott O'Donell, Ouk Sethycheat (gen sec), Vann Ly (team manager).
The players were squeezed into a corner of the small room for the hour-long press conference

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Blogger CHAMROEUN said...

In Cambodia, we need more professional journalists

September 25, 2009 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I can't argue with that comment Chamroeun :-)
certainly the circus that was part of the press conference this morning would not be tolerated in any other mainstream footballing country.
I thought the cameramen were totally oblivious to everyone else, shoving their cameras in faces, etc, and when speakers are responding to questions, its common courtesy to listen, not to speak loudly on your mobile phone or amongst each other, so that the speakers cannot be heard. Next time, they need a larger room and microphones and a translator. And that is just basic requirements.
whoops I seem to be sounding off about something that isn't earth shatteringly important.

September 25, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

poor oganise ,hope they learn but maybe not. it become a bad habit now that result from lack of experien.

September 26, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

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