Cambodia's hopes of cohosting group matches for this year's Tiger Cup football
tournament have vanished with news that the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium will not be
ready in time.
Cambodian Football Federation president Khek Ravy said toilet facilities were inadequate
for a capacity crowd and would have resulted in sewage overflows.
Final venues for the premier Southeast Asia football tournament, to be played from
December 7 till 16, remain uncertain; only Malaysia venues are definite now.
Vietnam has volunteered to replace Cambodia as the alternative co-host with Malaysia,
but venues there are subject to ASEAN Football Federation inspection.
AFF secretary Dato Paul Mony Samuel said Vietnam was ready to step in after successfully
hosting the SEA Games last December.
Malaysia-hosted group matches would be played in two Penang stadiums, but if Malaysia
qualified for the semifinal and final, these matches would be played in Kuala Lumpur.
"We will not compromise on the quality of the Tiger Cup as it is the region's
most important football tournament, therefore all semifinal and final matches must
be played in the capital of the qualifying country."
The government awarded the stadium contract four years ago to Yuanta Group, Taiwan,
in a deal involving a payment of $3.6 million and the right to build apartments on
open space around the stadium.