Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Cambodian football federation (FFC) has joined forces with mobile telephone supplier Metfone in a sponsorship deal worth $1.5million over the next three years. Increasing interest from sponsors is great news all round, for the FFC, the clubs and the fans. Okay, so the name of the CPL will become the Metfone C-League for next season but that's a small price to pay as some of the funding will go towards relocating the National Football Center as well as funding the U-19 and U-23 squads. The current football headquarters is a 1-pitch facility southwest of the capital, whilst plans for the new location include 4 pitches on a 52 hectare site in the Bati district, about 40 kms from Phnom Penh. The FFC was previously sponsored by a South Korean technology company and now the Vietnam-based company who own Metfone have come to the party. If I was being picky, it would be nice to have some Cambodian sponsors involved, but beggars can't be choosers in the current financial climate.
Also on the football front, an AFC C-Licence course for coaches was completed on Monday,and 70% of the 30 Cambodian coaches passed the required standard. Cambodia's only A-Licence coach, Prak Sovannara was in charge of the 2-week theory and practical sessions and said he was "delighted at the commitment of the Khmer coaches" who took part. Better qualified coaches will be the springboard for better quality footballers of the future in my view. On the subject of players of the future, the national coach Scott O'Donell has been holding twice-weekly trials for the U-23 squad that will travel to Laos for the SEA Games in December. And he's been very impressed with the 35 or so players that have turned up at 6am at the National Football Center for the sessions. He wants to select his squad soon, as some of the players will also be representing Cambodia in the U-19 championships in Vietnam next month.