|Keeping an eye on the press at the official opening of the CFDL. Pic courtesy of Ken Gadaffi.|
|Prince Ali meets one of the PPCFC teams and presents them with a football|
|Everyone cheers the start of the CFDL at Olympic Stadium|
Long day in the sun. Bright red face. Exhausted but happy as larry,
as everything went so smoothly. The morning's youth league opening at
the Olympic Stadium went like clockwork considering we had one of world
football's top power-brokers on hand to give us his seal of approval.
After a quick burger (and indigestion) for lunch it was off to the RSN
Stadium to launch the Phnom Penh Crown fan club and hold our first ever
open day. Another roaring success in anyone's book. More later when I've
had a few moments in a darkened room and applied some after-sun lotion.
Okay I've had said lie-down and am now refreshed.
Young footballers from 10-16 are simply not catered for sufficiently in
Cambodian football. They get few opportunities for regular sport, let
alone well-organised team sports, especially football. The schools
rarely cater for it and aside from a handful of clubs, it's all pretty
hit and miss. Hence why Phnom Penh Crown have got their heads together
with another half a dozen teams to form the new Cambodia Football
Development League with age groups set at U-12, U-14 and U-16. It all
kicked-off on Sunday morning with a series of friendly showpiece
matches, some 300 boys and 1 girl playing across 22 teams, at the
Olympic Stadium, on three pitches and a noise level only surpassed by a
Justin Bieber concert. The league format competition, which will take
place most weekends by the mainly Phnom Penh-based teams, though Kompong
Chhnang and Prek Kdam are represented, was timed perfectly to coincide
with the visit of Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, one the FIFA's
Vice President's no less, who graciously agreed to officially open the
league. As soon as he arrived in the country he was whisked off to the
stadium, where he was given a rapturous welcome by the youngsters,
offered up a speech and then met each team before heading to his hotel.
It was a great start for the fledgling competition. The action continued
after his departure and all-in-all, an excellently stage-managed event went like clockwork. Hats off to the organisers, oh, that was Phnom Penh Crown then. Now we're off to Tuol Kork.
Labels: CFDL, Phnom Penh Crown