Monday, October 20, 2008
This is the Cambodia national football team that took the field against neighbors Laos in their opening match of the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup Qualifying competition, played at the Olympic Stadium and won a close encounter 3-2. Cambodians adore football and they would love their national team to be a huge success. They haven't had much to cheer about in terms of football success, though the disabled volleyball team have shown that Cambodia can be a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. Now its up to the footballers to match their volleyball colleagues and gain one of the two qualifying spots for the AFF Finals to be held in December. That would be quite an achievement in itself, even though Cambodia have home advantage and are the second best ranked team of the five nations taking part. However, they sacked their Korean coach a few months ago and have adopted a youth policy that they hope will pay dividends in the future, though like all fans across the globe, the Cambodian supporters will demand nothing less than immediate success. It remains to be seen if that thirst for success can be satisfied. I have the feeling that it will be a while yet before Cambodia take on that mantle and become a force in Asean and world football. Included in the line-up above are Chan Rithy (11) and Sam El Nasa (16), with Khim Borey (7) and Sun Sovannarith (14) on the front row. Photo courtesy of Tep Phany.