Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sad day for Cambodian football

Scott O'Donell being interviewed by the local press in Laos
My exclusive article in the Phnom Penh Post today reveals that Scott O'Donell, the football coach of the Cambodian national team, will be leaving his post at the end of this month. He's decided not to renew his contract after a year in the hot seat and will look elsewhere for his future employment. The main reason for his decision is that he's been working with his hands tied behind his back due to the indecision and lack of support shown by the local football federation. There are important matches coming up later this year, for World Cup qualification and the Suzuki Cup, but the federation have been dragging their feet over the preparations that Scott wanted to begin in January and that made his position untenable. In my view, his departure is a massive step backwards for the Cambodian national team and football here in general. The federation are now seeking a replacement, most likely from South Korea, but they quite simply have missed a trick in not fully utilizing Scott's unique experience in the region and his knowledge of the technical aspects needed to improve the raw talent that he's been working with for the past year. It's a sad day for Cambodia football in my opinion. As for Scott, he will spend the World Cup month in India, working for Indian television as a football pundit. You can find out more here.

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