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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kirivong look to Vietnam to fix slump

Kirivong look to Vietnam to fix slump


Takeo-based team’s Vietnamese coach moves to sign a pair of compatriots to reverse a lack of form, while Nigerian Olabode Abosede is left out in the cold

Kirivong keep Abosede in the dark
Kirivong Sok Sen Chey attacking midfielder Olabode Abosede looks set to be on his way out of the club after being dropped for Wednesday's 0-2 loss to Khemara Keila.

The Takeo-based team failed to sign former Khemara defender Paris Zidougha and have left the dimunitive Abosede out of their lineup as they look to obtain some Vietamese players.

Kirivong's Vietnamese coach Lou Foekten is in favour of acquiring some compatriots to make up their five-foreigners-per-club allowance, and has given Lam Than Yang, who has trained with the side all season, a debut start against Khemara.

Dressed for the match and previously uninformed by officials, Abosede was shell-shocked to find his name omitted from the team list Wednesday.
"I dont know what is happening," he said with disgust. "Nobody has told me anything yet."

The Nigerian said he did not expect the club's interest in Vietnamese players to have any effect on him, as he has been an integral part of the squad since joining from Khemara at the end of last season, and the team still had one foreign player slot remaining. However, it is believed Foekton has already bought two Vietnamese players, which would force Abosede out.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Kirivong, Leang Khon, stormed out of the stadium Wednesday, visibly upset with his team's performance, leaving team manager Lay La to address the players in the pouring rain. Squad members were seen leaving the stadium on the team bus looking totally dejected. Clearly, drastic action is needed to prevent a Kirivong freefall down the league table.

Ekene waits to take league by storm

Former Vietnamese club Thanh Hoa FC star Michael Ekene is waiting to explode onto the Cambodian scene following his muted debut with Preah Khan Reach (PKR) Sunday, which ended in a 2-2 draw against bottom-placed Phouchung Neak. The Nigerian striker, who played for home clubs Gabros, UDOJI, and Rangers International before exporting his talents, admitted that the Cambodian league is much tougher than he expected. "I need time to understand the players here, as their game is quite different from what it is in other leagues I have played," confessed Ekene.

The much-traveled former Nigerian youth international, who was once invited to the Nigerian national team known as the Super Eagles, has also featured for Clementi Khalsa FC (Singapore), Pelita KS (Indonesia), Persik Kediri (Indonesia), Persib Bandung (Malaysia) and Kuala Muda Naza (Malaysia). He was drafted into the PKR squad to replace defender Alex Ikeduba, who is due to jet off to Thailand for trials. "I am here to help the team win the league," Ekene declared. "As soon as my teammates and I understand each other, things will get better and the goals will start coming."

FFC assists CPL club marketing
Following the distress calls from cash-strapped Cambodian Premier League (CPL) teams, the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) is looking to attract additional sponsors to help share the load of financial commitments of the clubs, according to FFC spokesman and Deputy Secretary May Tola.

The federation official announced Saturday that the FFC is working on organising seminars and workshops for clubs to develop marketing strategies to help them generate funds from new sponsors without clashing with the CPL's main sponsors.

May Tola also revealed that gate takings collected from games, which were implemented at the start of this year's season, will be used to support CPL sides. "It's confidential," he said. "But I can assure you my president [Sao Sokha] and the federation has the teams in mind, as it's their money. So by the end of the season it will be used for the benefit of all the teams."

He also noted that the US$1 tickets seem to be too much for the average Cambodian football fans, mentioning that the federation is working on finding sponsors who will not only will bring down the ticket cost but attach incentives for spectators, as is done in Europe and other developed football-playing nations. "We will get sponsors who will take advantage of the marketing opportunity that abounds in football, so we can give fans something for their time and money," said May Tola.

The Deputy Secretary also expressed the federation's appreciation of the coverage of CPL by the Phnom Penh Post. "We appreciate the good job the journalists who cover the league have been doing, and hope we continue to enjoy such coverage for a long time," May Tola remarked.



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