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Football festival unites girls

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Keng Channou during the U15 Girls Football Festival held in Battambang yesterday. Photograph: Meghan Battle/Phnom Penh Post

Fifa President Joseph Blatter once stated that “the future of football is feminine,” an adage Battambang province seems eager be embody.

The inaugural U15 Girls Football Festival kicked off yesterday at the University of Battambang field featuring 80 young Cambodian girls making up 10 teams from eight different provinces.

The five-day competition is hosted by local sports and leadership training organisation SALT Academy and is sponsored by the German Embassy and the German Business Group Cambodia, which includes companies such as Smart, Arbeitskreis Deutsche Wirtschaft (ADW), Cosmos Trade Services and Brains.

All players are being coached by experienced female coaches throughout the tournament, and will have the opportunity to participate in workshops run by different local NGOs engaged in empowering women in Cambodia through football.

Workshops will include training and education in fair play, leadership, and gender issues.

Another component of the festival is a refereeing and coaching workshop that sees 28 female coaches aged between 17 and 21 years old help bring a social change to Cambodia though developing the future of women’s football.

“All over the world, women’s football is gaining popularity, and we are confident that the Girls Football Festival in Battambang will give the highly motivated girls the attention they deserve and further inspiration to engage in the beautiful game of football,” read a statement from the German Embassy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Riley at dan.riley@phnompenhpost.com

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