Despite the glory of the winning team being Iraq, a fairytale storyline that could not have been scripted better… the AFC Asian Cup 07 was pretty much a shambles. Hosting it across 4 different countries may have lessened the load organizationally, but it created a logistic nightmare.
Now, no single country holds the blame, and there was some excellent football played throughout the 07 Event, but serious problems existed during it.
First of all, the heat. If you’re going to hold the games in the midst of Summer, then for the love of God, hold them at night. Is it any wonder many of the tournament’s top teams didn’t always live up to expectations? Teams traveling for literally half a day to get to destinations to play the next day, or even that night. Buses not showing up on time, charter flights & hotel reservations messed up. A twenty-five minute power outage in the middle of one game. In Bangkok, selecting a stadium on the outskirts rather than the National stadium in the middle of the city cost dearly, with games not any where nearly as well attended as they should have been.
The Japanese team suffered quite a bit, the organizers messing up their charter flight just prior to the third-place game versus South Korea – it wasn’t until the Japanese officials took matters into their own hands & chartered their own jet that they could travel to the remote Indonesian island of Palembang for the game. Upon arrival, not enough rooms were booked at accommodation, and players & officials had to share rooms (the official’s room apparently resembled a cheap backpacker’s dorm – there were so many bodies!). It’s highly probable that other nations have similar horror stories. Read the rest of this entry »