INCHEON (Reuters) – Laos, already stripped of a certain medal at the Asian Games after missing their start of the sepaktakraw men’s doubles semi-final, could face further disciplinary action.
The Asian Sepaktakraw Federation has taken a dim view of the Laos team’s no-show and was planning to meet to discuss the appropriate penalty.
“The competition managers and the technical committee decided to disqualify Laos from the men’s doubles, after they failed to show up for their semi-final,” ASF president Abdul Halim Kader told Singapore’s Today newspaper.
“They disrupted the tournament and brought embarrassment to the sport, especially when the host broadcaster was standing by to carry the match live.”
Laos were guaranteed at least a bronze medal when they advanced to the semi-finals of the competition against South Korea but were disqualified when they failed to show up on time.
The Laos team said they got caught in traffic after deciding to return to the athletes’ village for a rest and lunch.
The start of the match was delayed for 20 minutes but when they did not show, South Korea was awarded a forfeit.
Laos was disqualified and Singapore, who had missed out on the semi-finals, were promoted to the bronze medal, prompting complaints from Laos.
“We had a match earlier and the players were tired so we decided to go back to athlete’s village to take rest for a while,” Laos team manager Sengthong Vangkoemany said.
“Unfortunately, when we were heading back to the venue, we were stuck in a traffic jam, causing us to arrive 30 minutes late, the committee disqualified us just because of the mentioned reason.
“If the victory had only been cancelled it would still had been acceptable, but they cancel our medal and give it to Singapore; it is not fair.”