After excluding karate, wrestling and weightlifting from the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore, the SEA Games Federation kicked out women’s football as well.
Men’s football, however, was spared since the host country has a high probability of seizing a medal in the sport.
In a report on www.goal.com, SEAG Federation sports and rules committee chair Chris Chan admitted that the final roster of sports is based on Singapore’s chances of winning.
“Quite obviously, we want sports where we’re strong in, with popularity and following,” said Chan.
A total of 402 events in 36 sports were approved by the SEAG Federation, 24 of them Olympic sports and 34 regularly calendared in the Asian Games.
Philippine Olympic Committee first vice president Joey Romasanta represented the country in the meeting held in Singapore recently.
Only floorball, a hockey-like game popular in the city-state that debuted as a demonstration sport in 2013 Myanmar, and netball were included outside of the regular Olympic and Asian Games events.
Singapore’s decision was a big blow to the progress of the Malditas, the country’s women’s squad, who are just beginning to blossom as a competitive unit in regional competitions.
The Malditas didn’t perform well in the 2013 Games won by Thailand after failing to get past the group stages.
It marks only the second time in seven SEA Games editions that women’s football has been left out of the calendar.
Singapore didn’t participate in previous editions, except in 2003 when they were knocked out of the group stage.