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Cambodian sports sector welcomes lifting of ban

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
The 2020 Season of the Cambodian Basketball League will start a few weeks after the sports ban is lifted. CBL

The Cambodian Government’s announcement that it will soon lift the ban on sports activities has mostly drawn a positive response from various sports federations in the Kingdom.

With the coronavirus pandemic under control, the Government here declared over the weekend that sports activities will be allowed to resume starting next month on the condition that fans will not be allowed courtside and with strict preventive measures in place.

“This is the news that everyone who loves sports has been waiting for,” Yusuke Shinoda, general manager of Angkor Tiger football club, said. Angkor Tiger FC is one of the teams playing in the Metfone Cambodian League (MCL), the Kingdom’s leading football league.

The Angkor Tiger FC manager said it will now allow the resumption of football in Cambodia.

“We are grateful the Cambodian Government was able to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The football league will now resume, and we will conduct it with great care,” said Shinoda, apparently referring to the 2020 Season of the MCL, which, along with the other football leagues in Cambodia, were suspended for more than a month to stem the spread of the deadly virus.


Austin Koledoye, technical director of the Cambodia Basketball Federation (CBF), likewise, said that it is a development most welcomed.

“It is a welcome development that players are back to training,” he pointed out.

According to Koledoye, they have plans to have the Cambodian Basketball League (CBL) start by the end of June.

The CBL, which features both local and foreign players, is Cambodia’s premier basketball tournament. It is held every year under the guidance of CBF and Fédération Internationale de Basketball. The Extra Joss Fighters won the 2019 edition of the CBL after beating Beyond, 73-61, in the championship game.

Koledoye said 10 teams will be joining the CBL this year.

Manish Sharma, CEO of the Cricket Association of Cambodia, agreed with both Koledoye and Shinoda, but stressed that strict security measures should be in place.

“It will be great to start sports again. But first we need to prepare with strict security measures like social distancing, limited number of players and officials and no audience until everyone gets the vaccine for COVID-19 or get a proper treatment,” he said.

Cambodia is the latest country in Southeast Asia to relax its sports ban, after Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and other countries in the region made similar moves earlier.

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