The Timor-Leste football team was forced to wait at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for approximately three hours on Saturday morning before their transportation arrived
Facebook/ASEAN Football News
SEA Games organizer sorry for 'inconvenience' of transportation, hotel mix-up
Franco Luna ( - November 24, 2019 - 12:58pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) on Sunday issued a statement regarding the logistical errors of the committee in accommodating the football teams from Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Cambodia. 

"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," they said. 

"We acknowledge our shortcomings in this particular incident and vow to do better."

PHISGOC explained in their statement that some members of the Timor-Leste football team were brought to Century Park Hotel in Manila instead of the nearby Hotel Jen, where they were supposed to be accomodated. 

As for the Cambodian team, the organizing committee said that they arrived at NAIA at 4 am while the standard check-in time at their hotel was 2 pm. Consequently, the athletes were forced to wait for the rooms to be available in "an air-conditioned private hotel conference room."

The organizing committee's statement follows backlash from netizens over viral pictures supposedly showing the Cambodian football team sleeping on carpets and tables of what appeared to be a hotel. 

In their statement, the committee explained that there were 34 international arrivals in NAIA followed by 38 at the Clark International Airport. 

They pointed out that despite these logistical mishaps, there were 75 other international arrivals that they said "have gone off without a hitch." 

"[T]he incident with the two teams remain a constant reminder for us as organizers to be more dilligent," they finished. 

"We owe it to our guests and to our countrymen."

The SEA Games has been under scrutinity in recent days, from the accomodations for athletes, a P55-million SEA Games cauldron, the preparations for the venues themselves and even the user interface of a planned smartphone application.

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