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HFCA ‘saddened’ by KMH Cup suspension, looks forward to its return

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
The HFCA U18 football team gathers for a group photo just before one of their matches in the KMH Cup 2020. HFCA

The Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA) said it was saddened by the suspension of KMH Cup 2020, where its team was slogging it out with some of the best U18 teams in Cambodia.

The under-18 boys team from HFCA is among eight teams that are competing in this year’s KMH Cup. Also in the mix are ISI Dangkor Senchey FC and the club academies of some of the top professional football teams in Cambodia, including Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC, Boeung Ket Angkor FC, Visakha FC, National Defence Ministry FC, National Police FC and Phnom Penh Crown FC.

The 2020 Season of KMH Cup started on February 12. But the tournament was temporarily suspended beginning March 14 due to the Coronavirus pandemic affecting Cambodia and other parts of the world.

In a media statement released yesterday, the HFCA said it was saddened but fully understood and accepted the reasons behind the temporary suspension of games.

“I’m really proud to be a part of HFCA’s coaching team for the KMH Cup but extremely saddened at the suspension of the league,” Greg Preston, the HFCA coach, said.

“My Sunday training with the boys was the best day of my week but with the correct decision to suspend the league and subsequent suspension of all HFCA activities due to COVID-19, my Sundays now feel listless and from what I’ve heard from the players, they feel the same,” he added.

Despite the present situation, Preston said they are looking forward to the return of the tournament.

As of today, Cambodia has 122 cases of Coronavirus infection with zero fatalities. With that, it is conceivable that sports events will resume in the near future.

‘’We can’t wait to be back and training, whenever that may be. I and the team hope that all our supporters are staying healthy and washing their hands and whenever the league restarts, we will be back and ready to go. For now, though, stay well and see you on the football pitch soon,” the coach said.

Echoing Preston, Paraic Grogan, founder of HFCA, said the decision to suspend the tournament was correct.

“HFCA would like to place on record our sincere thanks and gratitude to the KMH Foundation for their excellent risk management plan which was implemented to ensure the safety of players, coaches and spectators when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the world,” he said.

“The KMH Cup and all related football activities were suspended indefinitely and the right decision was made at the right time,” he concluded.

The KMH Cup is part of the leagues run by the KMH Foundation which was founded in 2012.

With support from the ISI Group, the KMH Foundation organises Cambodia’s biggest semi-professional football leagues: KMH Cup, KMH Champions League, KMH Academy and KMH Super Cup. These national tournaments, which run annually, bring together businesses, clubs, partners, media and players from all over the country.

Each year there are more than 50 teams and clubs with more than 1,000 players that participate in the tournaments.

Established in 2005, the HFCA is a non-profit organisation devoted to working with Cambodia’s underprivileged youth through football.

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