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FFC plans major changes

IN line with the world governing body FIFA’s recommendations on better governance, the Football Federation of Cambodia will be restructuring the domestic season next year in an attempt to make it more lively and productive.

Dropping a broad hint on major changes in the calendar for 2011 likely to be introduced by the federation, FIFA marketing consultant Stuart Ramalingham, who was in Phnom Penh last month for the grassroots level Festival of Football, said yesterday the priority would be to base the game on the foundations of grassroot and youth development.

“A pyramid kind of a formation is what you can expect with football growing steadily and healthily from the bottom up,” he said.

The FIFA official said the FFC had done a great job so far by getting IT savvy and undertaking a huge new national football centre in Takeo province.

“The FFC has embraced all the developmental projects of FIFA with great verve and enthusiasm, and I am confident with these structural changes to come. The future holds great promise,” he said.

Under the new FFC dispensation, the domestic league could be widened to encourage more provincial team participation.

In the meantime, a two-day FIFA-supported Festival of Football for hundreds of boys and girls aged 8 to 12 years old kicked off yesterday morning at Olympic Stadium. The event, described by one FFC official as an open air theatre for scouting talent, attracted 64 teams of young hopefuls from all across the Kingdom, of which 24 were girls’ sides.

According to FIFA’s grassroots instructor Fritz Schmid, the emphasis would be on participation rather than results in these events.

Among the dignitaries attending the inauguration ceremony were FFC President Sao Sokha, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Im Sethy.

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