Friday, November 30, 2007

Sepak Takraw: Malaysia decide to pull out

THE political in-fighting within the International Sepak Takraw Federation (Istaf) and the Asian Sepak Takraw Federation (Astaf) came to a head yesterday with Malaysia's withdrawal from the Korat Sea Games sepak takraw competition.

The Malaysian Sepak Takraw Association's (PSM) objection over the use of rubber-coated rather than rattan balls was overruled, which was followed by the dismissal of Malaysian jury members from the Sea Games sepak takraw competition.

PSM announced its decision to pull out in Kuala Lumpur yesterday but the move is not expected to have much of an impact on Malaysia's 64-gold medal target as Malaysia would have found it near impossible to upset Thailand on their home ground.

But it does mean Thailand will have an easier path to gold in the men's events while Malaysia's last minute withdrawal could result in serious repercussion for future international competitions.

Astaf secretary general Boonchai Lorhpipat said they are still waiting to be informed officially by PSM of the withdrawal. "If it is true that they have withdrawn then we will have to either conduct a redraw or award Malaysia's opponents a walkover," he said in Bangkok yesterday.


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