Cambodia to host World Cup? Well not quite, but Prime-Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN countries could and should apply to host both the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games in future.
The video message from and suggestion from the PM came after the successful opening ceremony to the 12 ASEAN Para Games held in Phnom Penh. Cambodia recently hosted the SEA Games, the first major sporting event to be held in the country since the 1960’s.
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How realistic is Cambodia hosting a World Cup?
Sadly as things stand not all that realistic, with the national team struggling to make waves in southeast Asia, let alone qualify for a world cup finals. With that being said though the country did a sterling job with 2023 Cambodia, thus showing it can boost major events.
Yet while Cambodia might not get the chance to host a world cup in the near future, there is genuine hope that the competition will come to the ASEAN region at some point.
Despite being football crazy the nations of ASEAN have yet to host a FIFA World Cup, sadly no team from the region has qualified for a tournament either.
This though did not stop Qatar from getting to be hosts, with a major reason supposedly being to share the games to more of the world. With that in mind surely ASEAN deserves a shot. Perhaps a joint Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos bid?
The closest the world cup has been to ASEAN was when it was hosted in Korea and Japan in 2002. The next World Cup (2026) is due to be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico, while the 2030 edition is most likely to be held in South America. Could we see the best of the best in ASEAN for 2034? Never say never.
The Olympics in Cambodia
In actuality hosting an Olympics might be a more realistic achievement for both Cambodia and ASEAN to achieve. In essence the SEA Games are simply an “Olympics Light” and Cambodia excelled as hosts. The full games though are on a far larger scale and the country would need much more investment for this to be a reality. Still though by hosting the SEA Games that means that hosting other major events are no longer a pipe dream.
And as for an Olympic Games being hosted in another ASEAN City? Well the closest the games have come to us so far have been Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo, but cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta, and Ho Chi Minh certainly have the pedigree. Sadly again 2036 would be the earliest this could ever happen.
So, while we might not see major tournaments in Cambodia, or the region in the imminent future, thanks to the bravery of the government of the Kingdom at least the doors to opportunity have been opened.
This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
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