Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - High praise for Cambodia's preparations to host SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games

High praise for Cambodia's preparations to host SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games

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Cambodia hosts the Executive Committee Meeting of the Southeast Asian Games Federation Council and the three-day ASEAN Para Sport Federation Council, which ended on July 13. SUPPLIED

High praise for Cambodia's preparations to host SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games

Experts from the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC) claimed that Cambodia has achieved more successes than expected while hosting the Executive Committee Meeting of the Southeast Asian Games Federation Council and the three-day ASEAN Para Sport Federation Council, which ended on July 13.

CAMSOC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun said after the meeting that the 10 countries that attended supported and praised Cambodia for its well-organised journey to hosting the 32nd SEA Games and the 12th ASEAN Para Games in 2023, both for the first time in Cambodian history.

"Thong Khon, as the rotating chair since Cambodia is hosting the next SEA Games, has led this council meeting smoothly and successfully in order to achieve Cambodia's goals. Over the three-day meeting we accomplished things that are valuable and give honour to the nation, especially with our hospitality and attention paid to the comfort of our guests.

"We have done well and it was appreciated by the attendees. We gained the admiration of all of the attending countries' delegates for the progress of our whole nation and the peace the whole nation enjoys today, which all of the delegates were surprised by.

"One thing that surprised them was the sports infrastructure, especially the Morodok Techo National Stadium, which can be considered a real milestone for growing the regional sports movement. The construction of large-scale sports infrastructure has emerged in the new era as one way to test a country's modernisation and capacities and the prominence and magnificence of the Morodok Techo National Stadium was praised highly," Chamroeun said.

He further stated that with access to all of this newly built sport infrastructure, Cambodia will become a country with a much higher potential for future victories at sports competitions in the region and beyond.

"The delegates were impressed and they appreciated what we've done here and I think they will be able to report back to their people confidently that Cambodia will do a great job hosting the 2023 SEA Games," he added.

During the three-day meeting, Cambodia also approved the inclusion of competitions in 39 sports and demonstration sports for the 2023 SEA Games and the Kingdom supported the sale of television rights to generate revenues to cover the costs of the event.

"All participating countries have supported the sale of the full television rights across all of our media markets, which is different than before when the event was broadcast for free. Cambodia is not a rich country, but we have a plan to earn income from the sale of television rights and we must find these additional sources of income to reduce the burden of hosting the games for the government.

"Thankfully, our pitch was successful and all of the countries are now celebrating this new development and planning to emulate Cambodia by selling the SEA Games television rights when they take their turn hosting the games," he said.

Thong Khon, as permanent vice-president of CAMSOC and president of the NOCC, was instrumental in the decision making process that determined where the next five SEA Games would be held, which was also announced at the meeting.

"In 2025, the SEA Games will be held in Thailand, 2027 in Malaysia, 2029 in Singapore, 2031 in Laos and 2033 in the Philippines. Thus, it shows our confidence in sustaining the development of the Olympic sports movement in the region. Before we did not know which country would host next and some countries actually didn't want to host. But after the Covid-19 pandemic, many countries prepared their candidacies and bid to host the games, which is a new attitude towards them and it really started with Cambodia," said Chamroeun.

Minister of Defence Tea Banh, who is the chairman of CAMSOC, supported working mechanisms that were completed at the meeting and he also supported Cambodia's plan to sell live television rights to alleviate the cost burden for Cambodia under the principle of "saving but giving great" at the 2023 SEA Games.

He also requested that the National Olympic Committees of the 10 ASEAN countries jointly organise the 2023 SEA Games-ASEAN Para Games torch relay through the member countries to be highly efficient, safe and fully supported by each government and their peoples.

"As chairman of the National Organizing Committee for the 2023 SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games, I would like to commit to providing a warm welcome to the sports delegates with the utmost degree of hospitality, including the best accommodations and transportation available.

“I believe that the work of hosting cannot ever be done perfectly, there will always be the inevitable shortcomings, but we will aim for perfection and ask for patience and understanding in advance if we come up short of that goal," Tea Banh stated.

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