Fellow competitors have slammed host Malaysia’s proposed format for the upcoming football event at 2017 Southeast Asian Games, citing the possibilities of seeking legal actions to resolve the matter.
Controversies arose after the event organizer announced the drawing rule for the group stage the past week, which allows the host, Malaysia, to handpick the group after all of the competitors have been drawn.
Understandably, the rule bails the host from being drawn into the “Group of Death,” sparking protests from the fellow competitors.
“It gives an unfair advantage for Malaysia,” said Joko Driyono, Indonesia Football Federation General Secretary. “They should only handpick the seeding to ensure they will play the opening match. PSSI will fill a formal complaint to the ICC and AFF regarding the issue.
“They should only handpick the seeding to ensure they will play the opening match. PSSI will fill a formal complaint to the ICC and AFF regarding the issue”, Joko Driyono said, as quoted by Vietnamese online newspaper VnExpress.
Laos Football Federation President, Viphet Shiharchack, agrees with Driyono’s arguments:
“We are caught surprised,” Shiharchack said. “The drawing format is unacceptable. Laos Olympic Committee and Laos Football Federation will fill a protest to the event organizer. We want a fair game.”
The drawing format is applied to other events at the games, including women’s football, futsal, and volleyball.