Southeast Asian Games organizers apologized after complaints of soccer teams sleeping on the floor, airport delays and athletes complaining of starvation.
The organizing committee apologized for the "inconvenience", including hotels not being ready and teams waiting at the airport for hours before the competition, which starts this weekend.
Alan Cayetano, chairman of the games organizing committee, said: "We are sorry inconvenience or if I can call it inefficiency or poor coordination. "
Filipino social media users have compared Philippines hosting effort to the spectacular and expensive failure of the Fyre Festival in the Bahamas.
Last weekend, the soccer teams from East Timor and Myanmar waited hours at the airport before game organizers arrived to take them to their hotels.
Photos from the Cambodian team sleeping on the conference room floor because their accommodations were not ready circulated on social media, and Thai athletes also complained that there were not enough rooms, forcing them to squeeze three athletes into rooms for two.
Singaporean mission chef Juliana Seow complained of transportation and insufficient halal food to her team's athletes. Seow wrote to game organizers: “We urgently seek your urgent and immediate attention to resolve the situations we are facing. We try our best to be patient and understanding.”
The Vietnamese team also asked for portion sizes to be increased, with the hotel asking them to formally request larger meals from the organizers.
Days before the formally open games, construction workers were still rushing to finish the sites. The first football match between Myanmar and Malaysia – the football competition starts early – at the renovated Rizal Memorial Stadium proceeded without a score.
Even local women's soccer teams have complained about not getting enough food and water at their hotel. At a news conference, coach Let Dimzon said that "the quality and quantity of food is not enough" and lacked the nutrients needed to train athletes. "Sad to be the host team and that's how we're being treated," said defender Hali Long at FaceSpace. "I can't imagine how other countries should feel."
Last week there was dismay when it emerged that the government paid about $ 1 million for a cauldron for the opening ceremony in Bocaue, Bulacan, even while the basic facilities were unfinished.
Cayetano remained defensive, claiming that 95% of participating athletes were satisfied with the services of the organizing committee.
President Rodrigo Duterte distanced himself from public anger and his spokesman placed responsibility directly on Cayetano. Spokesman Salvador Panelo apologized for "unintentional inconvenience suffered by our athletes" and said Duterte "will offer no excuse."
. (tagsToTranslate) Philippines (t) Asia Pacific (t) World News (t) Sport