Secretary of State of the Ministry of Information Chea Chanboribo was re-elected President of the E-Sports Federation Cambodia (EFC) for the federation’s third term 2022-2026. He will lead the federation as it attempts to achieve the goal set by the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC) which is aiming for at least one gold e-sports medal at the 32nd SEA Games, to be held in the Kingdom next year.

The EFC held its second general assembly at the information ministry’s headquarters on October 22, electing Chanboribo as president, Chi Sila as first vice-president, Ngor Sang as second vice-president, Lon Samdy as secretary-general, Chean Chanra as vice secretary-general, Van Sambo as chief of financing and Kong Sovann Banha, Khan Vathana and Sanh Udom as members.

Chanboribo warned that there were many challenges to be overcome before the Kingdom would be in contention for a medal. The sport required technical and financial support, but the federation has not yet received an operating budget from the Ministry of Youth, Education and Sports.

“This budget issue is mainly related to equipment preparation as we need modern equipment, and that requires a large budget,” he said.

However, Chanboribo added that he expected the EFC to earn gold in at least one of the nine disciplines it would be contesting.

“Winning at least one gold is one of the resolute goals of the federation. As president of the federation, I will encourage our players to try hard, but it will be tough, as so many countries in the ASEAN region are so strong. Both the players and the club have to work hard, but if the federation tries alone, it will not be possible,” he said.

Pen Vuthy, a representative of the sports ministry who participated in the meeting, gave good news to the ESF, saying that it is one of six sports federations that the ministry will approve a budget for.

Vuthy said that the process of approving the budget request is almost 95 per cent complete.

“If nothing changes, the federation will receive its budget in early 2023, so it will be able to prepare for the 2023 games,” he added.

The newly formed EFC executive committee, along with the leaders and representatives of all the clubs that attended the General Assembly, applauded the good news. Chanboribo said that with the sports ministry’s support, the federation will begin to organise tournaments in essential disciplines to sharpen his players and prepare them for competition.

“We will use the funding to organise the events which we have not yet secured sponsorship for, and the experience will help our teams prepare to challenge for gold,” he added.

Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of CAMSOC, together with Samdy, secretary-general of the E-Sports Federation Cambodia, on September 7 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nguyen Xuan Cuong, President of the E-Sports Federation of Vietnam in National Olympic Committee of Cambodia headquarters, with the approval of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Tea Banh as chairman of CAMSOC and minister of tourism Thong Khon as permanent vice-president.

After the signing, Chamroeun said the Vietnamese federation has agreed to support the organisation of the competitions, installation of software, hardware, and training of referees and judges.

Chenboribo welcomed the promised assistance from the Vietnamese federation, but warned that the EFC should still be endeavouring to be self-reliant. At the same time, Noy Phana, representing the Olympic committee, urged the Esports Cambodia team to work harder to win a historic gold.

“We have to remember that Vietnam is also coming to compete with us. Their assistance is really helpful to us, but ultimately, our results depend on our efforts,” he added.