S’pore & other Asean countries face cramped ‘buses’, lack of food & other ‘SEA Games fails’
Quite a lot of issues.
The Southeast Asian Games are starting on Nov. 30, 2019.
Some events, like football, have already begun.
The problem is, the amenities and construction didn’t appear to have received the memo.
Here is the stadium, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, where Malaysia and Myanmar are facing off today.
Here is the scene a few hours before that.
Workers are in haste as renovations of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila, the venue for the football competitions for the 30th SEA Games, are still being done hours before the 1st match between Malaysia against Myanmar at 4 p.m. today. | via Miguel de Guzman pic.twitter.com/tihDmDozSX
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) November 25, 2019
The situation led to one particularly artsy solution being proposed.
While some last-minute touchups to the scaffolding doesn’t really hint at anything too drastically terrible, for many, this was just another notch in a string of SEA Games hiccups.
The issues some Filipinos had with the event was evident from the get-go, with the logo being derided for its design.
A reminder that the 2019 SEA Games logo looks like the unfortunate disfigured descendant of the Olympic rings after many generations of unchecked inbreeding pic.twitter.com/2JAPPD8vhz
— chaotic lazy (@unruledpages) November 20, 2019
Can I just say that I’m embarrassed as a Filipino right now in regards to SEA Games hosted by my country:
-Really ugly logo
-Super mediocre cauldron
-Lack of care for our athlete visitors
-and just dumb organization
— Zeik Velardo (@YoZeik) November 24, 2019
— dominique (@cy9her) November 24, 2019
In fact, the hashtag Sea Games Fail was used as the problems with the games started to pile up.
— Juan Miguel (@choiking_) November 24, 2019
Myanmar footballers also felt the literal squeeze when the “buses” catered for them turned out less spacious than one might have hoped.
The Timor Leste team were apparently made to wait nearly three hours for the buses to their hotels, following which, they were promptly taken to the wrong hotel.
Even the host country’s own team weren’t spared from the administrative kerfuffles.
Their check-in was delayed by a few hours, leading to these unfortunate scenes.
Their veteran member Hali Long summed up the situation as such.
“Sad that we’re the host team and this is how we’re being treated. I can’t imagine how other countries must feel.”
Thai media also gave a behind-the-scenes look at the press conference area.
Catering was a recurring issue brought up by participating countries as well.
While the country’s SEA Games hosting is marred by controversy, another problem emerged on Sunday morning. The Football Association of Thailand posted on social media that food rations is another issue.
— Manila Bulletin News (@manilabulletin) November 24, 2019
According to Manila Bulletin, the Thai football team faced limited food options and a lack of water.
The situation was so dicey, that the Thai government apparently stepped in to provide more Thai food for the participants.
Singapore wasn’t spared from food issues either.
According to a Straits Times article, the chef de mission of the Singapore contingent wrote to organisers in response, to a host of other issues, the lack of catering for the predominantly Muslim footballing team.
“For example, at one dinner the halal options were just plain rice, pita bread and brinjal lasagne. And with the other teams also requiring halal food, there just was not enough to go around.”
According to ST, several team officials had to forgo lunch due to insufficient food.
And all these issues before the event even begins.
Nakakahiya sa mga visitors, delegates, players, committees, participants and to the rest who are part of the Sea Games. Shame on you Cayetano and to the organizers of #SEAGames2019. #SEAGamesfail
— SoloByahero ✈ (@SoloByahero) November 24, 2019
Image from Asean Football News and Thairathnews