Female football will not be played at the 26th South East Asian Games in Indonesia following a decision by the Indonesia organising committee, a major blow to the Vietnam team which is the defending champion.

Vietnam Olympic Committee general secretary Hoang Vinh Giang said it would be difficult to change the committee's decision.

Indonesia is not good at female football so the Games committee is not eager for this event, he said.

"The Games committee's reason is that they don't have enough football grounds," Giang said. "To organise the female football event, they need two Asian Football Confederation standard grounds, not including training grounds.

"The Vietnam committee will give its opinion on this problem at the meeting with Indonesia to discuss competition programmes. We will request they hold female football. But in my experience, there is little chance to modify the Games committee's determination. They have the right to add or reject events."

Meanwhile, the national female football team, the Games defending champions, convened at the National Sports Training Centre in Hanoi on Feb. 14 in preparation for tournaments this year, coached by Chinese Chen Yun Fat. They include the upcoming SEA Games and the Olympic London 2012 qualifying rounds.

Vietnam Football Federation vice chairman Nguyen Lan Trung said the federation was waiting for the official announcement from the Games committee before adjusting the team's training schedule.

"Meanwhile, the federation would ask the Vietnam Olympic Committee and football federations in the region to petition the Games committee to include female football in the programme for the 26th SEA Games," ./.