Email This Story :
The Philippines said Thursday it would send a tiny delegation to this year’s Southeast Asian Games in Burma to protest the host’s “unfair” exclusion of mainstream sports.
Between 30 and 50 Filipino athletes are expected to compete in Burma compared with 512 at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richie Garcia told AFP.
“We’re doing this to protest the unfair changes to the event that Myanmar (Burma) is making,” Garcia said.
Burma announced in January that it was excluding Olympic sports such as tennis and gymnastics from the Games, prompting accusations by rivals it was cherry-picking events to help home athletes.
Burma has included events such as chinlone, a dance-like sport, and bodybuilding.
Garcia said he would not attend the Games in December, and was urging his colleagues on the sports commission also to boycott them.
He said he would like to see a standardised roster of events in time for the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
But Singapore Games organising chief Lim Teck Yin this week backed Burma’s move to include home-grown sports, telling AFP it helped maintain tradition and develop regional character.