Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dropping basketball for the next SEA Games?

The SEA Games in in full swing in Thailand right now. As all the countries within South-East Asia tried their best to get golds and glory for their countries, eyes are also being casted to the next SEA Games in 2 years time.

The next Games will be held in Laos and there's a problem already. Exactly there's 2, because the Laotians want to drop both basketball and gymnastics from the Games due to a lack of an indoor facilities. Now as anyone in the region will tell you, the SEA Games always has a few tradition and off-beat sports in its programme (dance-sport, Go, bowling etc), as such it always had a credibility problem.

That problem will be compounded if basketball and gymnastics (both Olympics sports) are dropped from the games. Now I have no problems with sports like Go or bowling in the SEA Games but you cannot expect people to take the SEA Games seriously if you drop Olympics sports from the programme.

A silver lining is that Thailand has offered to hold both sports for Laos as they have the facilities. (It beg the question why Laos has indoor facilities for wushu but no indoor facilities for basketball, but that's another question) Just keep both basketball and gymnastics in the SEA Games Programme.

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