The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) have completed a 4 day workshop in Phnom Penh aimed at developing the professional game in Cambodia through the assistance of Europes governing body..
The event which was held at TRIBE Hotel consisted of 4 days of practical workshops, with representatives from all Cambodian Premier League 1 and Cambodian Second League clubs attending. The event was concluded with a gala dinner attended by club presidents and presided over by Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) President Sao Sokha, CPL CEO Satoshi Saito. New national team manager Felix Dalmas was also in attendance.
To read about TRIBE Hotel click here.
What was the main aim of the workshop?
Essentially to share ideas with stakeholders within the Cambodian game on how to make the two divisions increase their revenue, improve the overall running of clubs and increase professionalism within the leagues.
UEFA were represented at the workshop by Head of International Relations Mr Stuart Larman, as well as officials Geoff Wilson and Mrs Eva Pasquier.
What is Cambodia doing right?
Prior to the Gala Dinner an overall round-up, as well as a Q&A session was held between the members of UEFA and local stakeholders. Here Stuart Larman, a national of Northern Ireland praised the formation of the Cambodian Premier League with regards to its separation and independence from the FFC – comparing it favorably with other leagues which have followed similar models.
Further praise was also given to club owners and those involved in the local game with him stating that the “passion” shown in Cambodia showed just how much potential the Kingdom possessed.
He also pointed out nations with a similar population to Cambodia who had “punched above their weight” such as Uruguay and Croatia as footballing nations that could be emulated.
What needs to improve?
On improving the national game within the country there were two main areas brought up, financial and youth development. From the financial side a number of interesting concepts were brought up, such as emulating Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States by potentially having a unified sponsorship structure, rather than clubs “going it alone”.
Overall though the main element was that clubs needed to maximize their marketing potential and not be fearful of being capitalistic when it comes to football. Essentially if more money is generated not only will standards improve, but more can thus be invested into development, as well as the overall trickle down to the local economy.
From the development of youth point of view the usual problems were brought up, particularly with regards to the lack of grassroots football. Here the members of UEFA stressed the importance of club involvement, again stating that better young players meant a better overall product and thus more marketability.
Many within the game have critiqued the lack of grassroots, or a developmental league within the country – something which led Phnom Penh Crown to recently form the Smart Youth League.
You can read about the Smart Youth League here
The final piece of advice given with regards to the “European Model” was having youth setups that begin from Under 6 years old, something that is currently largely lacking within the Kingdom.
Overall though both clubs and organizers considered the event a huge success, and much praise should be given to Satoshi and the CPL for managing to arrange such a high-level delegation to the country.
All we need now is for Messi and Ronaldo to finally make an appearance…
This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
Follow BPVE SPORT Facebook, (http://fb.com/bpvesport) Twitter, (https://twitter.com/bpvesport) Instagram: (http://instagram.com/bpvesport) @BPVENews
Advertisement Requests Advertisement department: email@example.com