PHILIPPINE Sports Commission officials are expected to have a firmer stand on whether to send a token delegation or not to this year’s Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) after seeking counsel from the head of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) who is set to visit the country this week.
Chairman Ricardo Garcia said local leaders are expected to seek the advice of OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah regarding the country’s participation in the 27th edition of the SEA Games set in Myanmar in December.
Garcia has been very vocal about his desire to send only a token delegation to the biennial meet, although a common stand has not yet been reached by the government sports agency and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).
But the PSC chief said the advice of Al-Sabah will definitely help the country’s sports leaders make up their mind.
“It is only the Sheikh who will say if he accepts our move,” said Garcia. “Let us say, sabihin natin na token, ano ang sasabihin diyan ng OCA. Baka mamaya kapag nag-token tayo, pagalitan tayo.”
“These are the things that will have to be cleared para hindi tayo sisisihin or i-sanction ng OCA,” Garcia said.
The top PSC official has batted for a token Philippine delegation to the SEA Games after several Olympic sports and events where the country is traditionally strong, were scrapped by the Myanmar SEA Games organizing committee.
Non-traditional sports were also added to the calendar of events, a move perceived to give Myanmar better chances of winning more gold medals.
Al-Sabah will be in the country until March 8 as he will also discuss with Philippine sports leaders the country’s hosting of the centennial celebration of the Asian Games this year.