Like every club owner, head coach and football fan up and down the country I’m feeling that Cambodian football could be doomed before it’s even got going. In this moment when football is becoming a part of mainstream society, the game in this country is being put under the microscope and revealing a whole heap of mess. If we don’t pull together now then everything will be thrown back into the dark ages of the countries football being on the blacklist of FIFA which is just crazy.
Who’s To Blame?
Honestly, no one! It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that just a year after the world is recovering from the pandemic, war breaks out and the global economy is forecast for a bad year. Everyone is tightening the purse strings.
Football in this country is also not an investment. It’s a sponsorship style partnership and/or a millionaires over indulgence on their own ego. With no money coming in and then set the task of attaining club licensing to participate is just too much for some. It’s too much for any of the clubs outside the top league. It’s already cost us 6 clubs but more importantly so many young people in the prime of their careers will now have to quit and find another thing to do because there simply isn’t the space. I’ve never been a person to stand and point fingers I just want to help be part of the solution.
My Three Point Plan To Fix It… .
- Loosen the restrictions on club licensing outside of CPL. CL2 should operate with 10 also. We currently have 5 so allow the top 5 from Hun Sen Cup provincial rounds into it or youth teams from CPL allowed to enter if they can facilitate it. Allow these teams to operate like semi professional clubs with rented stadiums and part time players. Any club wishing to get promotion would need to upgrade everything but they could also opt not to. No relegation or promotion for a year, maybe two but it would be a small price to pay and give everyone breathing space.
- Engage fans!! EVERY game should be played at night. Investment into floodlights at every stadium and make football an evening thing you can do with your friends or family. No one enjoys mid afternoon in Cambodia. At night more fans would come, more revenue and hey presto clubs have money to operate.
- Forget about having a club in every province. Build a Development center in every province with all players under the age of 16 from that province playing in the center, boys and girls. Mandatory that every center has a senior womens team and each year centers should be producing a minimum amount of referees and coaches at all license levels..
One Final Thought…
The national team are about to embark on a new dawn. Felix, I’m a big fan. In my one hour chat with him I can tell you that we have manager that not only is qualified but cares. He was engaging, asked insightful questions and made it clear that whatever level of the game you were his door is open.
Get behind the boys and let’s go again!!
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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