PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia is backing the statement of Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco about a possible boycott of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games if the practice of including non-traditional sports would continue.
Garcia, who has been critical of Myanmar’s recent move to add non-traditional sports and limit several Olympic events like tennis and gymnastics, said he agrees with Cojuangco that a boycott should be considered if the trend continues in Singapore when it hosts the SEA Games in two years.
Cojuangco hinted on a possible boycott earlier this year after seeing several sports that the Philippines is perennially strong were taken out of the calendar in Myanmar.
“I agree with Cong. Peping on that matter. Kung walang babaguhin sa sistema, bakit pa natin babaguhin?” said Garcia.
Cojuangco earlier said the country might as well concentrate on the Asian Games if the trend will be the same in Singapore.
Garcia said the SEA Games should maintain a certain number of Olympic sports in the calendar, while excluding non-traditional sports in the official medal tally.
“What we are asking for isn’t an advantage to us. It is not something na very drastic,” said Garcia.
The PSC chairman said he will take the opportunity to discuss such matters with fellow Southeast Asian sports heads when the county hosts the Asian Games Centennial Festival later this year in Boracay.
The PSC chief said Southeast Asian countries will continue to struggle in the Olympics if the practice persists.
“God bless the SEA Games,” said an exasperated Garcia. “Nothing is going to come out of this.”