PHISGOC apologizes for problems before start of 2019 SEA Games


Officials of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) apologized Sunday to several international football teams after they experienced hotel arrangements problems and transportation delays upon their arrival in the country over the weekend.

Photos of several national football teams and the problems they’ve encountered were all over social media Saturday, putting the country’s hosting of the biennial meet to a bad start, GMA News reported.

“We sincerely apologize to our athlete guests from Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Cambodia for the inconvenience caused to them by the confusion regarding their transportation and hotel arrangements,” PHISGOC chief operating officer Ramon Suzara said in a statement.

“While PHISGOC strives to ensure proper coordination of the arrival details, airport welcome and transportation provisions of all international teams to their respective assigned hotels, we acknowledge our shortcomings in this particular incident and vow to do better,” he added.

After waiting for hours at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the buses of Timor-Leste football team finally arrived, only to be shuttled to the wrong hotel.

According to PHISGOC’s statement, the team was initially brought to the Century Hotel, but the team’s coordinator pointed out that some of the members were billeted at the nearby Hotel Jen, the report said.

Photos of the Cambodian football team resting on the floor also went viral on social media.

According to PHISGOC, the reason for Cambodians late accommodation was due to the change in arrival details which were relayed late to the Games Services Department.

“Instead of the arrival time initially relayed to PHISGOC, the Cambodian team arrived in NAIA at 4AM. Transportation was immediately provided, but since their hotel rooms were not yet available because the standard check-in time is 2PM , PHISGOC requested that the team be allowed to wait at an air-conditioned private hotel conference room with tables and chairs where the members could rest and feel comfortable while waiting for their rooms,” PHISGOC said.

Myanmar’s football team also waited for a long time at the airport and complained that the bus that picked them up was “not comfortable.”

Meanwhile, defending champion Thailand had to cancel their first day of training due to delays in acquiring the athletes’ identification cards at NAIA.

On Instagram, the team also cited heavy traffic within Metro Manila as a factor for the cancellation of their training.

PHISGOC added that these incidents will be a constant reminder for them to be “more diligent.”

The men’s football games will kick off on Monday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The biennial meet will officially open on November 30 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan

Source: GMA News

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Marcus Felipe