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Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium to undergo renovation

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
The Football Federation of Cambodia intends to modernise and renovate the National Olympic Stadium. KT/Yeun Punlue

The Football Federation of Cambodia intends to modernise and renovate the National Olympic Stadium to meet international standards in line with FIFA and the Asian Football Federation (AFC) regulations.

Keo Sareth, secretary-general of the Football Federation of Cambodia, confirmed that the federation, through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, would submit a proposal to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Items on the agenda include improving the quality of seating and lighting. Mr Sareth did not reveal the budget to complete renovations.

The renovation project follows a series of recommendations from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

As host of the 2023 SEA Games, Keo Sareth, said that the kingdom needed to meet regulations to ensure safety and promote the image of Cambodia abroad.

“If there is no renovation from 2020, FIFA and AFC will not allow Cambodia to sell tickets or take part in official tournaments organised by them, said Mr Sareth.

The Olympic Stadium was completed in 1964 and designed by the famed Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann. Mr Molyvann originally designed the stadium for the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games – the original name of the SEA Games. Cambodia failed to organise the SEA Games in 1963 due to political issues with Thailand over the disputed Preah Vihear temple.

“Without proper seating for fans, FIFA and the AFC do not allow tickets to sold for spectators,” added Mr. Sareth.

A recent FIFA World cup qualifier between Cambodia and Hong Kong saw upwards of 45,000 fans take to the concrete seats of the stadium to see their team suffer a 1-0 loss.

The proposal was submitted to the Ministry of Economy and Finance at the close of the Executive Committee Meeting of the Football Federation of Cambodia on Monday.

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