Lions cannot stomach SEA Games woes


  • Other Sports
  • Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019

THE Singapore contingent at the SEA Games have written to organisers to seek “urgent and immediate attention” on issues faced by the Republic’s athletes now in the Philippines for the biennial Games.

They are not able to get good halal food for their athletes, three-quarters of whom are Muslims.

In a letter to the Philippines SEA Games Organising Committee (Phisgoc), Singapore chef de mission Juliana Seow made a call “to resolve” the problems faced by Singapore’s football, netball and floorball teams immediately.

The three teams are now in Manila for the Games beginning on Nov 30.

In her letter, Seow detailed how the football squad, of whom more than three-quarters are Muslim, were not provided with sufficient portions and variety of halal food at their accommodation at the Century Park Hotel.

Singapore Under-22 football team manager Samuel Tan said the variety of halal food is very limited.

“For example, at one dinner the halal options were just plain rice, pita bread and brinjal lasagne. With the other teams also requiring halal food, there just was not enough to go around.

“We have made some adjustments by incorporating the energy food supplements we brought along to ensure the players’ physical conditioning is not affected.

It is understood several team officials had to go without lunch on one occasion, because there was insufficient food.

Singapore midfielder Saifullah Akbar, 20, noted that aside from the limited options, the halal food was often cold.

Insufficient food was also an issue for the Singapore netball squad at the Somerset Alabang Hotel, and the Republic’s floorball team, who are staying at the Luxent Hotel.

As a result, team officials had to resort to buying their own food, wrote Seow in her letter.

Seow’s letter was sent on the same day Phisgoc issued an apology to athletes from Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Cambodia after the teams encountered trouble with their accommodation and transport arrangements. — The Straits Times/ANN

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