Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian football chiefs hurry to plug funding hole

Cambodian football chiefs hurry to plug funding hole

Cambodian football chiefs hurry to plug funding hole


FFC chases last-minute sponsorship deals for Suzuki Cup qualifying tournament

Photo by:


FCC president Sao Sokha has no qualms about dipping into next year's funds. 

THE rewards, in terms of national pride and football development, will be great for Cambodia, should the national football team advance from the AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying tournament underway in Phnom Penh to the Southeast Asian finals this December.

But the costs are also great, too, with the fledgling Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) facing a scrambling to raise enough money to cover the five-nation tournament that wraps up this Saturday.

FFC president Sao Sokha put the cost of hosting and promoting the October 17-25 competition-featuring Cambodia, Brunei, East Timor, Laos and the Philippines-at US$210,000, of which the FFC must raise more than half.

The Asean Football Federation (AFF) has provided $100,000 through Suzuki Cup sponsors sourced by its marketing partner World Sport Group (WSG), with Telekom Malaysia International (Cambodia) Co - best known locally for their Hello mobile phone lines - fronting an additional $60,000.

"We expect to get $20,000 though ticket sales from the four games our national team is playing, because from the two days our team has played so far, we received $5,000 each time," Sao Sokha told the Post.   

Cambodia secured a promising 3-2 victory over Laos at Olympic Stadium last Friday but were held to a 2-2 draw with East Timor on Sunday. They face the Philippines on Thursday and Brunei on Saturday.

"We've spent $20,000 to get the four matches played live on Cambodian TV [state-run TVK] and have them advertised," Sao Sokha said. "For the other matches [not featuring Cambodia] we just take photos and video for our files.

"Besides this, there are about 500 police working security at the stadium, who we pay $5 each per match."

Development costs

While the FCC will recoup some money through television advertising, Sao Sokha said he was unsure if the federation would be able to make up the $30,000 sponsorship shortfall, though  officials were still searching for sponsors at the tournament's halfway mark Tuesday.

"If we can't get the money we'll use our budget for 2009," he said.

The tournament represents a coming of age in certain respects for the FFC, with Cambodia standing a good chance of being one of two teams from the qualifying tournament to join Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Myanmar in the December 5-28 Suzuki Cup finals.

The federation is hosting 25-member delegations from each of the hopeful qualifying nations at Phnom Penh's luxury Nagaworld Hotel, and their sponsorship drive has found at least one enthusiastic partner.

"It is our first really big football project. and we want to have a long-term partnership with the FFC because we think that football is very popular worldwide and everyone enjoys it," said Hello brand manager Gary Foo, whose company's products and services are being promoted at Cambodia matches and will be the focus of a post-tournament concert being organised by the FFC.

For Sao Sokha, developing football in Cambodia is also a matter of national pride.

"We are very proud and honoured to have the chance to host the qualifying matches," he said.

"Through these games we hope that we can show the world that our country has developed, is prosperous, peaceful and has a growing economy.

"We want to enhance the youth through their love of sport and get them to turn away from drugs. We want to entertain our people."


  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the

  • Fish, frogs to boost local food supply

    The government has disbursed more than $4.5 million to boost aquaculture production and domestic market supply amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon told The Post on Monday that in boosting agricultural production, the ministry has received financing from development partners

  • Planning ministry hands out cash to 420,000 poor families in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Planning has identified 20,000 more poor families in the country, bringing the total to over 580,000, while over 420,000 of them have received the government’s cash assistance. In the meantime, many social security cards from families not deemed to be poor have been revoked.

  • Nature in focus at inaugural film and photo festival

    The first Cambodian Wildlife Photo and Film Festival – an event celebrating the conservation of nature through the eyes of wildlife photographers, nature enthusiasts and conservation experts – is scheduled for July 18-26 at Fauna in Focus’ Nature Discovery Centre in Siem Reap. The festival will be

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry