Bin Chantha Thierry has sent shockwaves through the local football community yesterday after announcing his retirement from the Cambodian national team.
The Paris-born attacking midfielder gave no official reason why he was making such a decision, but in a statement made available to the Post, said it was “a very painful and difficult” one to make.
Having featured in all three of the U23 squad’s recent 2013 BIDC Cup matches at Olympic Stadium, Thierry was set to travel to Myanmar to play in the 27th SEA Games.
“Anyone that knows me will understand that one of the proudest moments of my life was pulling on the Cambodian national football team jersey to represent the country of my parents’ birth,” he said.
“Playing for the Khmer-Europe team and being welcomed to Cambodian football by Phnom Penh Crown FC was the start of a fantastic journey for me. It made the possibility of playing for Cambodia a reality and I was very happy to be selected for the Cambodia U23 SEA Games squad.”
Thierry’s father had flown over from France to watch his son in action against sides from Malaysia, Laos and Thailand.
“The support and encouragement of the Cambodian football fans has made the experience even better than I could’ve ever hoped for,” added Thierry.
“For these reasons, it is with considerable regret that I am announcing my retirement from the Cambodian national football team, with immediate effect due to personal reasons, which I will not divulge at this time.”
The 22-year-old recently signed an extension to his club contract with Crown which will see him lace up for the next Metfone C-League season set to start in mid-January. He is also eligible to play in the Kingdom’s premier and exclusive domestic trophy competition, the Samdech Hun Sen Cup, which kicks off in the middle of next month.
Meanwhile, the national U23 team will resume training under South Korean head coach Lee Tae Hoon at the new National Football Centre in Tonle Bati district, Takeo province. Their first game in the SEA Games will be a Group B clash on December 7 with hosts Myanmar at the Thuwunna YTC Stadium in Yangon.
A friendly against the Guam national senior team has been slated for next Tuesday at Olympic Stadium, while other tune-up ties against Singapore and Laos have also been proposed.