SEA Games talks underway

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A meeting by ministers to discuss the kingdom’s hosting of the 2023 SEA Games took place yesterday. KT / Yeun Punlue

With the Phnom Penh 2023 Southeast Asian games at the forefront of its thinking, a meeting by ministries to report and discuss the kingdom’s action plan for hosting the regional sporting spectacle was held yesterday in the Cambodian capital.

The assembly was presided over by Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defense, and Chairman of CAMSOC, while Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) and incumbent secretary of CAMSOC presented to attendees the kingdom’s detailed development strategies.

These included human resource training and infrastructure preparation with special consideration paid to the Games’ budget.

“The plan for the preparation of the SEA Games is still under consultation,” said Mr. Chamroeun, adding that the Ministry of Economy and Finance would coordinate with the relevant stakeholders. “The actual cost is yet to be determined,” he added.

General Banh told participants that Prime Minister Hun Sen had been pushing for a holistic approach to achieving goals and meeting expectations. In addition, he also encouraged the development of human resources.

As well as hosting its first SEA Games, the forum also floated the possibility of hosting other regional events such as the prestigious Asian Games.

Cambodia is preparing to host the 32nd SEA Games in Phnom Penh in 2023, and in some provinces including Kampot, Kep, Takeo, Siem Reap, Battambang, and Kampong Cham.

Construction for SEA Games-related projects started in April 2013 on a 94-hectare lot near National Road 5 in Russei Keo district on the northern outskirts of Phnom Penh.

The large sports complex under construction for the last four years in northern Phnom Penh includes a new multi-million dollar stadium which will form the centrepiece for 2023. It is estimated to cost about $200 million when completed.

The complex, when complete, will accommodate 100,000 people, while the main stadium will hold between 60,000 and 75,000 spectators. This is a marked increase from Cambodia’s current largest stadium – the Olympic Stadium, which was completed in 1964 and designed by the late Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann. Mr Molyvann originally designed the stadium for the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, which is the original name of the SEA Games. The 1963 Games were, however, cancelled due to political problems.

Construction of the new main stadium is key to helping the kingdom meet the high international standards demanded for the SEA Games. The Chinese government had agreed to fund Phase 2 of the complex and finance its completion.

The committee anticipates that the sports complex will be completed in its entirety by 2020 or 2021.

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