BANGKOK – A local newspaper has accused Malaysia of undermining Thailand’s prowess in Sepak Takraw by limiting the number of events participating countries can take part in the popular sport at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Local English daily, The Nation in its editorial yesterday alleged that Malaysia as the host country had requested Thailand not to compete in the men’s singles team event, which is considered as the top most competition in the sport.
“It was reported that, while the host gets the privilege of participating in all five events (in Sepak Takraw) at the 2017 SEA Games to be held in Kuala Lumpur from August 19 to 30, other participating countries are allowed to compete in no more than three,” said the newspaper.
The Takraw Association of Thailand it said bowed to Malaysia’s request and will field players in only three events – multiple team, duo and quartet.
According to The Nation, a lot of local sport fans are angry at the “unfair advantage” and highlighted a problem stemming from a long running practice which put the host country at an advantage over other competing nations particularly during the region’s biennial multi-sport event.
“This practice will only anger and upset the non-hosts and their people. And the vicious cycle will never end unless the true spirit of sportsmanship is honoured,” said the newspaper.