Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fans hungry to see success

Fans hungry to see success

Fans hungry to see success

091204_24a
Cambodian football fans hold Cambodian flags at Olympic Stadium during an international U23s match against Singapore. Local TV stations have said they will not be showing SEA Games events live, much to the diappointment of local sports enthusiasts.

As Cambodian delegates prepare to depart Saturday to the SEA Games in Laos, local fans eagerly await news of success, but bemoan the lack of live TV coverage

WITH the Under 23 Cambodian football team having already traveled to the 25th SEA Games in Laos last week in preparation for their tournament, it is now the turn of the rest of the delegates to join them ahead of their events starting December 8. More than 100 athletes and coaches competing in 18 different sports will depart at the crack of dawn Saturday to begin the two-day bus trip to Vientiane.

For the SEA Games, Cambodian sports officials are working hard to improve the performance of athletes and win more medals then previous events.

Athletes will participate in archery, athletics, boxing, cycling, judo, karatedo, sepak takraw, wushu, wrestling, taekwondo, shuttlecock, petanque, beach volleyball, table tennis, badminton, tennis, swimming and golf.

The Cambodian public includes some avid sports fans who will be eagerly awaiting the results from Laos. Twenty-one-year-old agriculture student Chon Sokha hopes that Cambodian athletes will try their best to get medals. He believes the Kingdom’s best chance for medals will be in petanque and athletics, while he hopes the football team will improve on results at previous tournament. “I can’t expect a medal from our football team,” he said. “But I hope that they can reduce the number of goals scored against them.”

Teacher Uon Sovichheka recognised developments made in the standard of Cambodian sport. “I believe that Cambodia will win more medals than previous SEA Games,” he declared. “We have coaches with quality and experience, and the players have been well preparing for the tournament.”

Others local sports enthusiasts have also expressed their optimism ahead of next weeks competition. For NGO official Chan Sothearoath, the promises of cash incentives for medals is not the only thing that encourages athletes to try their best. “If they win, they bring honour both for their nation and for themselves,” he noted.

Chheang Yareth, sports reporter for Kampuchea Thmey daily, said: “I see that [the athletes] have prepared better than previously. I’ve noticed that Cambodia is hungry for medals. I especially believe in petanque, because [Cambodia] took home medals in this sport.”

However, some have bemoaned alleged corruption of sports officials who select family members and friends to represent the Kingdom. “In reality, the standard of Cambodian athletes is not so far from others in the region,” said a source who wished to remain anonymous, and failed to identify individuals.

Other sports fans recall the scandal of recent years involving illegal betting on football results, and the apparent throwing of matches. Vann Ly, manager of U23 football team, refuted allegations of corruption in the current squad.

“The players will try their best,” he said at a press conference.
“If they win, they will get a lot of money. How can they sell the result without thinking about the nation?”

Due to lack of sponsorship, local Cambodian television channels will not be broadcasting live events. TV3 and TV5 will report the results in their sports programme in the morning, while Apsara TV will screen highlights. “We really want to cover the news in Laos, but we don’t have enough money to send our cameramen and journalists,” said Norodom Buddhapong, who is in charge of sports news at TV Apsara. However, he stated that he will expand his sports magazine show to include a focus on events from the SEA Games.

Results will also be reported by other television stations, but may be one or two days after the events. Cable station CCTV has started broadcasting football matches from a Thai channel feed, including Wednesday’s match between Thailand and Vietnam.

“We will broadcast live as many events as we can,” confirmed an official at CCTV.

Student Chan Sopanha said that the SEA Games is one of the most attractive sports events for Cambodians, and was not happy to hear that local networks will not be broadcasting the events live.

“We really want to know how Cambodian athletes play,” said the student.
“We don’t have the opportunity to attend the event, but we want to see them on TV. The government should think about this.”

According to the Vientiane Times, the 25th SEA Games will be broadcast live on 14 television channels in six countries. Television networks that have agreed in principle to show the games live are Brunei Radio and Television, Lao National Radio, Lao National Television, Lao Star Channel, Myanmar’s Forever Group, Singapore’s Media Corp TV, National Broadcasting Service of Thailand (NBT), Thailand’s TPBS, Channel 5, Channel 7 and TOT, and CAT Telecom, and Vietnam’s VTC Digital and VTV.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this