Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Myanmar fans upset by Malaysia’s failure to air some football matches

The 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur were declared open Tuesday but people in Myanmar were upset because they could not watch the live games for some men’s and women’s football matches.

Myanmar football fans watch live broadcast of SEA Games on a huge screen in front of Yangon City Hall on August 14. Aung Myin Ye Zaw/The Myanmar TimesMyanmar football fans watch live broadcast of SEA Games on a huge screen in front of Yangon City Hall on August 14. Aung Myin Ye Zaw/The Myanmar Times

This was bad news for Myanmar where ‘the beautiful game’ is a national sport and people focus more on this sport than any other sports in the ongoing biennial competition.

Today Myanmar will play against Laos, followed by Brunei on August 19. Malaysia can’t manage live broadcasting these two games and Myanmar spectators would not have a chance to cheer for their team in these first two games.

Host Malaysia explained that some football stadiums don’t have proper facilities and capacities for video and live broadcasting.

But they will broadcast live the game between Myanmar and host Malaysia on August 21.

For the 29th SEA Games, football matches will be held at National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Selayang stadium, Shah Alam, UITM stadium and UM Arena.

Based on the schedule, Myanmar will play two games in UITM stadium -- a small stadium, located in Shah Alam, with a 6000-persons capacity.

The Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) confirmed this news on their official page that “Some women’s football matches and two men’s football matches can’t be broadcast live.”

Although MFF had hoped to broadcast these games live on social media, this was not allowed by organisers for copyright reasons.

But MFF said it will still try to broadcast it on social media.

Aung Kyaw Kyaw, a Myanmar football spectator, said he could not hide his disappointment.

“Why is that? I’m surprised to learn that Malaysia, which is much richer than Myanmar, fails to manage live coverage of some popular events and tournaments. I am asking this on behalf of all other ASEAN countries, not just for Myanmar,” he said.

Myanmar fans were able to watch the live broadcast of the game between Myanmar and Singapore on March 14, in which Myanmar beat Singapore 2-0, on MRTV.

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