FFC President Sao Sokha (left) stands with FIFA Women’s Football Development Manager Mayrilian Cruz Blanco at the opening ceremony of the FIFA Women’s Football Com-Unity Seminar.
WITH the cooperation of international football's governing body FIFA, Cambodia's Football Federation (FFC) organised the three-day FIFA Women's Football Com-Unity Seminar at Phnom Penh's Sunway Hotel beginning Monday morning.
FIFA officials said they would provide funds and technical support to help the FFC establish the first women's football teams in Cambodia.
Representatives from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, local NGOs and other organisations attended the seminar to learn about the step-by-step process of what needs to be done.
"Today we are making history in Cambodia for the development of women's football," Mayrilian Cruz Blanco, women's football development manager for FIFA, told the attendees, adding that FIFA will fund development of general infrastructure and competitions for women's football.
Blanco said women's football has become a global phenomenon, with over 30 million women players currently registered and many more on the waiting list.
"Football goes further than the game itself, it brings hope to the community and help for social development," continued Blanco. "This is why we are here today to bring football to the people of Cambodia, and to the players, both girls and boys."
Sao Sokha, president of the FFC, said he would like to thank FIFA for their contributions to women's football in Cambodia.
"The seminar, organised by FIFA and FFC, will become a historic symbol in the start of development of women's football in Cambodia," he said, adding that, with continued support from FIFA, the Education Ministry and other organisations, Cambodian women's football will become a tournament sport within 10 years, just as it is in many other countries.
Phoeurng Sackona, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, said the ministry has included a women's football tournament in the education program for the last few years, from lower secondary to higher education, with an increased budget for the sport field in each successive year.
Prak Somphas, chairman of the Women and Sport Commission of Cambodia, echoed the importance of the seminar, saying it would help to reach her commission's target of having females comprise 20 percent of all Cambodian sport players.
Following the seminar, a women's football coaching course will be held on Thursday at the National Football Centre in Cheng Meng Village, Phnom Penh's Samrong Krom commune.