National call has rightly taken precedence over club commitments for players listed by head coach Prak Sovannara as probables for Cambodia’s trip next week to Manila for the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers.
Fear of injury played a significant part in Sovannara’s decision not to allow his squad players to play in this weekend’s Metfone C-League games ahead of their March 22-25 campaign in the Philippines.
He is believed to have forcefully argued that so close to a major event, he simply did not want to take the risk of key men running into fitness problems.
Although some top-flight clubs whose players are in the national camp wanted them released for the games, they eventually had to settle for rescheduling of their matches.
Consequently, this week’s fixtures involving Boeung Ket Rubber Field, Phnom Penh Crown, Preah Khan Reach, Ministry of National Defence, Naga Corp and National Police Commissary have been put off until the return of the national team.
The high-profile Boeung Ket v Crown clash will now be played at 2pm on Wednesday, April 3 at Olympic Stadium.
On the same day, the MND v PKR game is set for a 3pm kick-off at Old Stadium.
Naga v Kirivong Sok Sen Chey has been fixed for Friday, April 10 at 2pm at Olympic Stadium, followed by Build Bright United v National Police at 4pm.
Meanwhile, the national team will play a warm-up match against defending league champions Boeung Ket at Olympic Stadium at 4pm today.
The four teams totally unaffected by this transit of players will, however, play out their league games over the weekend.
A second-phase clash between BBU and Kirivong has been brought forward to 2pm tomorrow at Olympic Stadium.
On Sunday, the two newcomers to the top tier, Senate Secretariat and Asia Europe University, will cross paths at the same venue and starting time.