PHILIPPINE Olympic Committee president Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco on Thursday hinted at a boycott of future Southeast Asian Games editions if the blatant practice of choosing non-traditional events that are favorable to the host country does not stop.
Speaking during the weekly POC radio program on DZSR Sports Radio 918, Cojuangco hinted that the Philippine may no longer participate in the next staging of the SEA Games if host Singapore would insist on choosing non-Olympic events which it could turn into veritable gold mines.
“I’m looking at Singapore,” said Cojuangco. “Kung sa Singapore ganoon din, I think it’s useless to enter.”
“I don’t see any gain for our athletes and the youth to see something like this,” he added.
Myanmar, host of this year's SEA Games in December, caused an uproar among member nations by adding a host of medal-rich, non-traditional sports to the calendar while scratching Olympic sports and a few other events where the Philippines is traditionally strong.
Cojuangco has been batting for the inclusion of more Olympic sports in the biennial event, saying this is the only way to help Southeast Asian countries prepare for the pursuit of success in the Summer Olympics.
“Nakakalimutan natin na ‘yung purpose of competition is for sportsmanship, honesty, and things like that,” Cojuangco said.
The POC chief believes the country should only send sure gold-medal bets to the Myanmar SEA Games in light of the shelving of 16 out of the 36 events where the country won gold medals two years ago in Indonesia.
Cojuangco said it may be better if the country concentrates on its participation in the Asian Youth Games and the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which are also scheduled this year.
“These are legitimate Asian level games. Ito ‘yung mga games na totohanan. Nandoon ang China, Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries," he said.
“I rather send athletes there. If we win, mas lumiliwanag ang chance natin sa Olympics,” Cojuangco added.