Phnom Penh Crown football club have threatened to pullout from the top tier of Cambodia’s football after league rivals Visakha revealed it had signed contracts with five Crown academy players.
Members of Phnom Penh Crown’s first-team squad announced a move to rivals Visakha – a move which prompted Crown to announce it would challenge the move with Cambodian football authorities.
Current members of the Cambodia senior national team Sin Kakada and In Sodavid, along with Ouk Sovann, Kim Chhaya and Ken Chansopheak were all presented to the press in an unveiling on Sunday.
“Phnom Penh Crown Club would like to announce that the club will stop all football activities and will withdraw from the Metfone Cambodia League, reads an official club statement released yesterday.
“However, on December 16 2018, the general public saw the introduction new players of Visakha, among them five former players which Crown had been training for more than five years in the youth team, paying school fees, accommodation, meals, train tickets, training camps, as well as sending for international competitions.
According to Crown, the five have been training at the Crown Academy since 2011 and 2013, however, after the 2018 season ended, they decided to leave without discussing with the club. And without paying for development compensation [as per FIFA rules].
Crown, six-time league winners, were the first football club in Cambodia to establish a Football Academy in 2011. All five players were given regular runouts under previous manager Sean Sainsbury with two of the squad cementing national team places thanks to their strong performances for the Crown first team. Upon his own unveiling earlier this year, Current coach, Leonardo Vitorino also said he would continue to place faith in youth.
“In such a situation, Phnom Penh Crown Club expresses renewed concern about the consequences for Cambodian football, the statement continues. “If a player trained by the club leaves without compensation it is a sign of weakness of the football development process. The statement is to defend the football development mission and encourage other clubs to conduct more training to ensure future competitiveness in the league as well as for the future of football.”
Crown said it had forwarded all relevant information to the National Football Federation of Cambodia expressing their concern. The club also said it had linked the FIFA rules and regulations and which protect clubs conducting academy football training for youth players.
Undeterred, Visakha, who finished third in last seasons C-League, also announced seven other new members including former Crown and NagaWorld midfielder Sary Matnorotin and defender Cheng Meng.
Hok Sochetra, manager of Visakha, claimed that the players would bring a lot of experience to his club. “I think they are all good, experienced players who have all played together in the past. Now they have come back to playing together. It will not be so difficult to be able to understand each other. And most importantly their commitment and their will impressed us.”