A month-long football tournament that will mark the 42nd January 7 Victory Day is slated to start next week.
The 7th January Techo Peace 2021, as the tournament is officially called, will be held from December 7 to January 7, according to Ouch Pisal, representative of Peace Loving Youth League (PLYL).
Ouch was among the PLYL officials who attended the media briefing and launching on November 27 at the Asia Euro University in Phnom Penh. The draw for the tournament was held that same day.
The PLYL is the main organiser of the tournament, which is now on its fifth year. The Association of Banks in Cambodia is among its major sponsors.
The January 7 Victory Day commemorates the fall of the Khmer Rouge. On that same day 42 years ago, the Vietnamese Army rolled into Phnom Penh to liberate Cambodians from the clutches of the dreaded Maoist regime.
Thousands of people gather in Phnom Penh and other urban areas every year to participate or watch cultural performances, sports leagues and other activities held to mark the occasion.
Because of the current health situation, it is unclear if the other big gatherings will take place as scheduled. The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) announced earlier that it will cancel its annual meeting because of the pandemic. The CPP’s annual meeting often coincides with the January 7 Victory Day celebration.
Ouch said that in addition to commemorating the important day, the tournament is also intended to promote healthy living and establish camaraderie and friendship among the participants.
There are ten teams that will compete in the tournament. These include TN Kandal, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, CCCCFC, Seven Clean, Khmer United, CCMP FC and 7NG. A team from Ratanakiri province is also competing, according to the organisers.
The tournament winners will receive cash and other prizes. The first placer will receive $2,000, while the runner-up will get $1,000.
Games will be played at the Old Army Stadium. The organisers have yet to release the complete schedule for the tournament.
The tournament is expected to draw many spectators, with most of Cambodia’s major football leagues wrapping up their 2020 season earlier. The Hun Sen Cup had its championship game early this month, while the Cambodian League (currently known as Metfone Cambodian League) concluded a month earlier.
The few football tournaments that are ongoing include the Women’s League, Cambodian League 2 and U-15/U-18 Championship.