Cambodia’s first artificial field, the 3G Mini Football Pitch, will be available for use from this weekend, having been constructed over the past month at the site of the former Bassac Theatre, which burned down in 1994, near the National Assembly in Chamkarmon district, Phnom Penh.
Kheav Phearith, 30-year-old businessman and owner of the facility, spoke to Post sports reporter Ung Chamroeun.
Why did you decide to construct this modern pitch?
As you know, our country is still lacking many pitches to train on. Friends and I have found out that neighbouring countries such as Vietnam and Thailand have progressed many steps ahead of Cambodia in terms of standard in soccer, so we have to start investing to help raise the standard here. Our original idea was to gain the full support from the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC).
What are the specifications and how much did you spend in total on the project?
This pitch was designed by ten Vietnamese specialists from construction company Cong Ty TNHH The Thao Quang Tuyen, while Ork Samnag, the General Secretary of Preah Khan Reach Football Club, helped coordinate other duties.
The total size of the pitch is 42 metres wide and 66 metres long, which we divided into three parts of 40 by 20 metres each. Beside this pitch, we are also building other structures such as a bathroom, toilet, restaurant, and clothing shop. We have put 10 electricity poles and used 36 high wattage bulbs.
The artificial turf which we have laid is imported from Italy, a material not yet employed by some other countries in the region with all-weather pitches.
The length of plastic grass is 6.30 centimetres, and we have worked in a huge amount of sand to make the surface playable. For just one square meter of pitch, we have to spread between 7-8 kilograms of sand.
The total construction cost of the pitch along with other infrastructures is over US$140,000.
What will the pitch be predominantly used for?
In fact, I’ve had the idea to build this pitch for a long time already but I could not find a suitable place. I am so happy that Oknha Kith Meng has provided me a plot for free to build the pitch.
Because I am a sponsor for Preah Khan Reach Football Club and their futsal team, this pitch will potentially be offered to them to train on. However, we will also welcome training sessions for the national football team because it is so vital for them to practice technical passing of the ball on a good surface such as this artificial pitch in the build up to international competitions.
We will rent the field out to any soccer leagues, be they mini soccer or full size, as well as communities, companies, enterprises or institutions to help promote good health through entertaining exercise.
We have already received interest from some teams, including one belonging to His Excellency Hun Many [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son].
What will the rental rates for the pitch be?
Each mini pitch will be charged at [US]$12 per hour between 6am to 3pm, S$15 per hour between 3pm to 6pm, and $20 per hour when the light are turned on. For renting out the whole field, we charge $45 per hour and US$60 under lights.
All players will need to wear sports kit, but can rent our shirts, shorts and boots in the case that they don’t have any.
Why did you name the field the 3G Mini Football Pitch?
Initially, I wanted to name it Tonle Bassac Football Pitch. But I have a share in a restaurant called 3G Restaurant, so I have decided to use that name instead. The 3G means Green Grill Garden.
All customers who come to play on the pitch also get discount cards for eating at the 3G Restaurant.