Sunday, September 25, 2011
Yesterday we saw a side of football that wasn't unexpected but still very disappointing and frustrating, not to mention showing a complete lack of respect for our club. Today, I hope we see Phnom Penh Crown give the Taiwanese a footballing lesson to reward them for their dirty tricks. Friday night some of the squad were kept awake by a late-night party into the early hours in the hotel by the Taipower squad for starters. At the lunchtime team manager's meeting, the Taipower team somehow managed to hoodwink the AFC suits to allow them to wear the playing strip they wanted in the final. This was despite Crown having 'home' advantage and initially the AFC told Taipower to wear green shirts and red shorts. They complained that it would look "ugly" so the AFC suits caved in and told Crown to change instead. It was quite unbelievable and the AFC would not listen to any dissent. I would say we were stitched up, good and proper. Crown had willingly moved back their training session to accommodate the pre-Final AFC press conference before we left for our last training session before the final. On arrival we found the pitch was already being used and the team were forced to train on a rubber running track instead of grass, curtailing the coach's plans and shortening the session. The local organiser's admitted they sent us to the wrong ground but calls to the AFC were ignored and we were left at a distinct disadvantage before the final. This is what some would call the oldest trick in the book, disrupting the opposition team's plans before a big final. Instead, it merely adds to the Crown resolve to win tonight's final.