SEA Games 2009 Underway

While in Malaysia this week, one of the big stories in the press there was the behaviour of their football team, who appear to have taken physical action against the referee for what they seem to think was a string of dodgy decisions in the Vietnam match (controversy and Vietnam? Heaven forefend). The authorities were taking the line that the players were out of order but the referee was no good either. Well, today, they meet the Thai team needing a win to go through to the semi-finals. One would expect the Thai team to have enough nous to get the draw they require but this is the SEA Games and, even though the quality may not always be the highest, it is always entertainingly unpredictable. For example, it is only today that an argument with the international authorities has been resolved so that the boxing tournament can go ahead – we can look forward to more interesting decisions by the judges in all the martial arts types sports, since the results of these are usually determined by the judges. Meanwhile, medals have started to be awarded in the shooting, taekwondo, swimming and other events. As far as I can tell, the media in the region is mixing a sense of nationalism with the undermining thought that it really does not matter that much – back pages are still usually dominated by international sport, after all. The official website for the Games is at Technical capacity in Laos is pretty limited but whoever is responsible for updating the site is doing quite a good job.

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JW has been one of the first contributors to this blog before he gave up on it all in April 2010, during a time when Thai society got more and more polarized about political matters because of red-shirt protesters.

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