One of UNMC’s most passionate events, Nations Cup, recently ended. Students had the chance to show their sportsmanship and put their countries in the spotlight. IGNITE spoke to UNMC students to ask their thoughts on Nations Cup 2018. We asked the interviewees what they thought of Nations Cup as a whole, including its’ highlights, changes, and what they would like to see next year.
What did you enjoy the most about this year nations cup?
“I enjoyed going to the closing ceremony, that was the most entertaining part and the chance to play different sports – I got to play squash.” –Ali Wail, Sudan
“What I liked, besides getting Redbull at every match, is that we got us our medals on the dot and played our national anthems in the back. It made us even more proud to represent our countries.” –Saya Hussain, Maldives
“I enjoyed how everyone tried to lift each other up, and the sportsmanship shown.” –Anonymous 2, athlete
high stakes game like quarter finals, semi-finals and the final itself. I got lost in the photography job. When there were some moments that awes trucked everyone, I just forgot to click the shutter button of the camera.” –Mohd. Syamim Bin Safian, photographer
2018 Vs 2017
How was 2018 nations cup different than last year in your experience?
“The efforts put into the closing ceremonies, like the flags, was amazing, the best, and the most elevated thing I have seen in nations cup.” –Ali Wail, Sudan
“It was a bit faster, the process, with the matches, semi-finals and finals. So it was easier to get done with one sport, so we could concentrate on another sport rather than have them all overlap.” –Saya Hussain, Maldives
“There were less games and less people interested compared to last year. I also didn’t enjoy the fact that it happened a lot earlier than it usually does.” –Anonymous 1, spectator
“This year however it felt smaller and less significant somehow. The medals looked bad and we’re plastic unlike last year. So it just felt cheap.” –Anonymous 2, athlete
“There were different winners this year compared to last year when was one side won the most in football and Futsal. I did notice some improvements this years in the timetable this year was better but there was lack of referees in some games.” –Ahmed Abdi Dirie, Somalia
Were there any issues you faced this year?
“For swimming, it was hard for us as unprofessional swimmers to swim 50m instead of 25m. In 2016 it was 25m, and last year they changed it to 50mr. It restricted some of us, especially those with breathing problems. So that is something I didn’t like and thought they might change it this year.” –Saya Hussain, Maldives
“I always hated the idea that I had to pay to represent my country. And because I’m paying a significant amount of money (rm50 if you play 5 sports) I expect lot more.” –Anonymous 2, athlete
“We had a lack of referees which was an issues during the matches.” –Ahmed Abdi Dirie, Somalia
“Something I observed was that the first aid team wasn’t always there on the ground. When we needed first aid, someone had to call them while the injured person suffered.” –Saya Hussain, Maldives
What do you think about constricting a country’s team to the passport holders?
“I really think the teams need to be restricted to passports. If you hold two passports, you need to choose one to stick with during nations cup. If that not abided by, things could get messy. I am a passport holder of Sudan but I am a Malaysian resident, because I have been in Malaysia for so long. That doesn’t mean I can play for Malaysia. If its not the passport that determines it, then what does – if you don’t limit it to something universal, which is a passport, everyone has it. But residencies, some people have multiple residencies, some have identification cards, some have permanent or long term visas. Where do you draw the line? Restricting it to a passport, keeps the competition fair.” –Ali Wail, Sudan
“Not good, because I always thought that one of the main goals of the event was to get people from everywhere to interact but the new move just made it divisive,” –Anonymous 1, spectator
“I don’t think a country’s [team] should be restricted to that country’s passport holders. We’ve traveled thousands of kilometers not to be defined by our passport but do become whoever we want to be.” –Anonymous 2, athlete
“People should represent their own countries first. If they haven’t got a full team to represent their countries, they are welcomed into the ROW team. But they should provide evidence of where they come from.” Ahmed Abdi Dirie, Somalia
“Asking people with dual citizenship to choose one might have negative impact on the person’s relations with the country they didn’t choose – they might get angry at the student. Asking them to choose is kind of mean. For people who have one passport, I think it is fine if their country has enough people to create a team.” –Saya Hussain, Maldives
2019 Nations Cup
What changes would you like to see next year?
“I would say please give us some real medals rather than whatever you gave us this year. And significantly improve scheduling.” –Anonymous 2, athlete
“For the final games like Footbaal/Futsal we should have outside referees, because it’s very difficult for the students to handle that kind of momentum.” –Ahmed Abdi Dirie, Somalia
“Next year, the hypes, everyone should focus on the hype. I genuinely think, no matter how the event is, the hype needs to be there.” –Ali Wail, Sudan
“For next year, beside swimming, multiple people I know were first timer player so maybe go a bit easier on the rules.” –Saya Hussain, Maldives
Written by Rzan Mohamed