Domondon: Politicizing sports

Open Season

IT SEEMS that stupidity continues to hound the national government with some elected officials politicizing every aspect of society.

Take the case of the hosting of the 30th South East Asian Games, a prestigious sporting event that seeks to discover the best athletes SouthEast Asia has to offer to the next Olympics. The event is basically a gauntlet through which aspiring athletes in the region gladly pass through to prove their athletic prowess in the hopes of achieving greatness and prestige in the field of sports.

The SEA games has not officially begun but already a comedy of errors is literally underway with the organizer Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc), led by its chairman House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano issuing apologies left and right to athletes inconvenienced with shabby accommodations, limited food and confusion of schedules. Whether the athletes like it or not they have surely been affected by the fiasco of disorganized hosting by Phisgoc.

If House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano has any sense of delicadeza left he should immediately step down and transfer the reigns of chairmanship of the Phisgoc to someone else, preferably not a politician.

The President on the other hand should have every right to be angry about the mishandling of the hosting of the SEA games considering that the inability to effectively and efficiently host such a big event affects the reputation of the country in terms of organizational and management skills.

In the future if the country will again host another large sporting event or competition such as the SEA Games the government should be more diligent and careful in selecting the organizers who will oversee and manage the activity. For starters no politician should be allowed to lead, supervise or manage any big international sporting event. The international sports competition and program should have been handled by professional event organizers who have backgrounds and track records in handling sports and athletic competitions.

Sports should never be politicized.

There should be a limit on the extent of any participation by politicians in big international sporting competition. Especially those events where the reputation of the country as an organizer and manager is at stake.

Right now everyone down to the private sector are scrambling in trying to save the day and rescue the floundering Phisgoc from the quagmire of faux pas and put some semblance of order and discipline to the hosting of the SEA games. Unfortunately the damage has already been done and the President may not only be angry but also embarrassed in the mishandling of the hosting of the SEA games.

But that is to be expected when you put politicians at the helm.


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