The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) apologized for issues regarding the arrival of three football delegations to the country earlier this weekend.
In a statement released to reporters Sunday, the SEA Games organizers asked for forgiveness for supposed "confusion" over transportation and hotel arrangements.
"We sincerely apologize to our athlete guests from Timor-Leste, Myanmar and Cambodia for the inconvenience caused to them by the confusion regarding their transportation and hotel arrangements. While PHISGOC strives to ensure proper coordination of the arrival details, airport welcome and transportation provisions of all international teams to their respective assigned hotels, we acknowledge our shortcomings in this particular incident and vow to do better," the opening statement read.
The incidents caused a firestorm over social media from Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike.
There were three incidents widely reported on social media on Saturday, with one from the Timor-Leste football squad. All of the members were taken to the Century Park Hotel, but the delegation pointed out that some were billeted in nearby Hotel Jen.
"For the information of the public, the confusion with the Timor-Leste football team happened when some of their members were initially brought to the Century Hotel along with the rest of the team," PHISGOC said. " However, the Timor-Leste coordinator pointed out that some were actually billeted at the nearby Hotel Jen. PHISGOC was able to arrange the delegates' shuttle to the other hotel."
Meanwhile, PHISGOC blamed the Cambodian football team's mishap to miscoordination, since the team allegedly did not inform the organizers that they would be arriving in Manila hours earlier.
"Instead of the arrival time initially relayed to PHISGOC, the Cambodian team arrived in NAIA at 4AM. Transportation was immediately provided, but since their hotel rooms were not yet available because the standard check-in time is 2PM, PHISGOC requested that the team be allowed to wait at an air-conditioned private hotel conference room with tables and chairs where the members could rest and feel comfortable while waiting for their rooms," the committee explained.
Despite the incidents, PHISGOC was able to report that a total of 75 arrivals went smoothly, and vows to rectify their mistakes immediately.
"While we are pleased to report that in the past two days there have been 75 international arrivals, consisting of various sports team delegations, technical officials and representatives of the respective National Olympic Committees, that have gone off without a hitch, the incident with the two teams remain a constant reminder for us as organizers to be more diligent. We owe it to our guests and our countrymen."
The Myanmar football team waited a few hours before being fetched at the airport and were reportedly unhappy with the size of the vehicle assigned to them. PHISGOC did not address this issue in their statement.