Under - 15 on Steroids?


Written on 8/15/2008 12:42:00 am by sikapitan

This news caught my eye today:

Phnom Penh - The Football Federation of Cambodia is up in arms over widespread reports of hairy-legged, mustachioed players taking the field in the first nationwide under-15 championships, the federation’s secretary general said Tuesday.

Cambodia has been named one of the most corrupt countries in Asia by the Berlin-based watchdog group Transparency International, but the country’s football federation has said it is determined to buck that reputation and prove itself clean so it can earn funding and international respect.

Frustrated secretary general Ouk Sethycheat said in light of these efforts by the federation, the latest example of bending the rules was beyond the pale.

The cheating involves ’several’ of the 24 teams involved in the championships, he said while accusing them of abandoning all attempts at subtlety.

‘We decide who is under 15 using two criteria - documentation and by looking at them,’ he said. ‘If Cambodian players are under 15, under no circumstances do they have hairy legs and moustaches.’

He said that after questioning the more hirsute players, it was found their documentation was forged.

The fiasco is particularly embarrassing for the federation after it was fined 4,000 dollars by the Asian Football Federation in February for fielding an overaged player in a regional Under-16 Youth Championship qualifying match. Cambodia’s football governing body has pleaded ignorance.

It was not clear what punishments the cheating teams would face.

Cambodia’s national team is currently ranked 169th in the world

This is just too funny. And suddenly, thoughts of over-competitive schools here in KL importing foreign players (because the locals are rubbish?) and passing them off as under-15s left me in stitches.

Of course, it doesn't mean one cheat will win the game. The other team might just do the honorable thing, and pay off their opponents. Mustache or not, money shaves points off better.

Yes, I'm 13.

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