The official SEA Games draw for the football competition threw out a surprise name with the inclusion of Philippines, who had already stated their non-participationThe draw for the SEA Games men's football competition drew surprise reactions from fans when Philippines were included in Group A along with Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Laos.
The Philippines Olympic Council (POC) had already indicated that they will not be sending a men's football team to the games held in Myanmar, although the women's team will be in action.
However the inclusion of Philippines only caused further confusion with the organisers insisting that their participation has been confirmed. A Philippines Football Federation (PFF) staff also confirmed that the official fixtures have been received from Myanmar with Philippines scheduled to play.
SEA Games organisers speaking to a Goal Myanmar correspondent reiterated that Philippines are officially scheduled to participate.
They also related that a Philippines official had witnessed the draw but did not indicate that the team had withdrawn. The organisers also alleged that a squad list for the Philippines Men's football team had been submitted. All teams are required to submit a provisional 30-man squad list prior to the games with the final list needing to be confirmed 24-hours prior to the first match. It is believed the PFF had submitted a squad list prior to the confirmation of their non-participation.
Earlier in the day, the draw for the Men's Futsal event was redone after the organisers confirmed that Brunei had withdrawn from the competition.
As it stands the current Men's Football draw and fixtures indicate that a walkover will be given for every Philippines match unless either, the withdrawal is confirmed by the organisers and a new draw is made, or if the POC relents and a team is allowed to participate.
UPDATE: Myanmar SEA Games organising committee accepted Philippines' formal withrdrawal from the competition late Wednesday evening. Philippines will be removed from Group A and a new fixtures list will be released.