Key Players Barred from 2023 Cambodian League Cup


The allure of the 2023 Cambodian League Cup has been somewhat diminished after a number of key new signings for clubs could not be registered to play in the competition.

The anomaly has occurred due to FIFA only allowing two international transfer windows during the season, one in the summer and one at the start of the year.

To read about the 2023 Cambodian League Cup click here

What is the problem and who are affected?

The problem is that all recent international CPL signings have not been given permission by FIFA to be registered. It had been hoped my many in Cambodian football that special dispensation would be given due to the long break between seasons, but the CPL have failed to negotiate an exemption.

Players affected by the ban include Nick Taylor of PKR Svay Rieng, Marcio at Nagaworld, as well as a number of key signings at Prey Veng to name but a few.

Speaking directly to BPVE Svay Rieng coach Conor Nestor told us “It’s not an international window for Cambodia and we were aware of that. We’ve worked with the CPL and FFC to try and get dispensation for Nick to play immediately but FIFA denied that request. These are some of the knock on effects of having a big gap between seasons but like all clubs we will adjust and do our best to move forward”

You can read the Svay Rieng announcement here

Cambodian League Cup
Photo by PKR Svay Rieng

What is the Controversy?

In 2022 the CPL announced the moving of the CPL from a calendar season to a European summer to summer one, something done by other leagues within the region. As opposed to these other leagues though the CPL have decided to do it as a “one go” rather than stagger the process over a few years.

To read about the Cambodian Premier League click here

This has not only resulted in the aforementioned problems with new signings, but also the far bigger issue of no competitive football for 8 months, both for players and indeed team coffers

Many within the game feel this could have been avoided by starting the 2022 season later and staggering in the change over at minimum two seasons, rather than rushing it through in one go.

This article is adapted from BPVE SPORT Cambodia, reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review.


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