Twenty four hours after the group stages of this seasons league cup have finished and the fallout from all the drama had claimed yet another job.
Meng Hav Long, was sacked by Tiffy Army after acts of violent conduct during their game against Kirivong, a game which saw them lose a place in the semi finals. In a fiercely contested game several incidents involving Long had occurred but it was his ‘Bruce Lee’ esq style flying kick that has warranted such an absurd reaction from the club.
Army are losing a gem….
At 23 years of age, Long, is still in the infancy of his career which started in the youth system at Bati. It was Vishaka who took him from there and under the tutelage of Greg and Collum made several appearances in the national squad at u22 level before leaving for Angkor Tiger. One season in Siem Reap and he moved back to the capital and has since become a regular on the Army side.
It’s madness to end his contract over this…
In no way do I condone violence in any form on the pitch or in our society but a fair amount of aggression is needed to be successful in any sport and of course is needed within our society as well to maintain order and control.
Long was visibly being targeted all game, had received a few bad tackles himself and I can only imagine that the verbals were also pretty
harsh. You would have to be a robot not to react.
The fallout and what this teaches us…
I am all for discipline and I totally understand Army want and need to be seen as a club that is hard with discipline but where is the line? If someone breaks an opponents leg with a tackle do we sack him? Accident or not? They’ve set a benchmark now and everytime their players are involved in an incident people are going to be referring back to this situation.
All this is teaching young players is that your cannot make mistakes because of the club image is damaged in anyway you will lose your job. Whilst I would agree things like this off the field deserve harsh punishment there are very few things on the field that warrant such a response. In the heat of the moment, emotions high and everything on the line we have to give some leeway to the players, coaches and referees.
Violence in football here in Cambodia is not a problem. There are far bigger issues.
On my opinion this young man had been made a scape goat for Army throwing the game away like they did. No one is talking about the 5 minutes long celebration with coaches running from their technical area or the fact they couldn’t hold out for 3 minutes highlighting their fragility and ill discipline, what everyone is talking about is the clubs decision to throw a 22 year old man under the bus in the name of image.
I would take him at Next Step in a heartbeat. In fact we want him at Next Step. The door is open.
This article is adapted from BPVE SPORT Cambodia, reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review.
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