The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is hosting an assembly of top sports and government officials from 11 Southeast Asian nations with the aim of producing a unified bid to bring the 2034 Fifa World Cup.
Representing Cambodia is Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport secretary of state Sar Sokha.
“It will be a collaborative undertaking and part of the agenda for the entire region is to prioritise the concept of sports for all,” said PSC chairman Butch Ramirez before the opening ceremony.
Delegates of the 5th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Sports (Amms-5) and the Senior Officials Meeting on Sports (Soms-9) arrived on Sunday for the gathering that is running until Thursday at the Sofitel Hotel in the Philippines’ Pasay City.
Four months ago, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha announced that the 10 Asean nations would launch a joint bid to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup, the first 10-country joint bid in football World Cup history.
National Olympic Committee of Cambodia president Thong Khon announced at the end of May that Cambodia would host the 2023 Southeast Asian Games and the Kingdom would like nothing more than to bring football’s largest showcase to the country.
After Qatar plays host to the World Cup in 2022, joint hosting bids among countries have become the trend with the trio of Canada, Mexico and the US joining forces in 2026 while Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile have submitted a combined proposal for 2030.
Besides the Asean bid, Ramirez said the 11 Southeast Asian countries, including non-Asean member East Timor, will likewise work on revitalising the Asean Work Plan on Sports for 2016-2020, discuss the establishment of the eSports SEA Foundation and implement the decisions from previous meetings of the Amms and Soms.
Ramirez welcomed Sokha of Cambodia, Phouvanh Vongsouthi of Laos, Tan Wei Ming of Singapore, Ahmad Shapawi Bin Ismail of Malaysia, Aminuddin Ihsan Pehn Dato HJ Abidin of Brunei, Mya Than Htike of Myanmar, Kumekawa Hirokazu of Japan, Le Thi Hoang Yen of Vietnam and Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn of Thailand.
Delegates from Unesco, Fifa, Searado, UN Women, the Asean Chess Federation, the Asean Para Sports Federation, the Asean Football Federation and the Right to Play Thailand Foundation are also participating.
Philippine Daily Inquirer