The Cambodia Motor Sports Federation (CMSF) has been formally accepted as a full-fledged member of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).
The FIM is a global organisation governing motorcycle racing and related activities. Based in Switzerland, it currently represents more than 111 national motorcycle federations.
The approval of Cambodia’s application for membership was made early this month during the FIM General Assembly and Awards 2019 in Monaco, according to General Meach Sophana, president of the CMSF.
Pily Wong, CMSF vice president, represented the Federation in Monaco and convinced other members to support Cambodia’s bid for full membership. Several other countries, including Angola, had their membership applications approved during the same gathering.
“In the past, Cambodia was only an observer. We are now full-fledged member,” Mr Sophana noted.
The CMSF submitted its application to become a member two years ago. “It has to go through different levels of approval before it becomes part of the agenda in the general assembly,” he said.
Mr Sophana said the new development means that there will be an FIM-approved regulatory body to oversee motor sports in the country. “Before, there has been no structure to regulate it and guide people who are talented,” he pointed out. “This would also align Cambodia with international standards related to safety and other matters of concern to the sport.”
Becoming an FIM member will allow CMSF to set safety standards that follow international guidelines. “This will bring confidence to insurance. In the near future, we can include an insurance coverage for our athletes in the licensing,” he said.
Mr Sophana added that Cambodia will benefit in terms of trainings and other assistance extended by FIM to its members. “With good support from the FIM, we can develop the sport, find talent and develop them into champions,” he said.
Mr Sophana also said that Cambodia’s FIM membership could bring in more participants from other countries. As an FIM member, according to him, the CMSF will have the confidence and credibility to organise international motor sports competitions and invite foreign participants to come to Cambodia.
It was noted that most of the motor sports competitions in Cambodia in the past were locally-sanctioned, thus attracting only a few participants from abroad.
“In every event from now on we can officially invite foreign participants,” he mentioned. “And we will also get more support from sponsors.”
In the last few years, Cambodia has seen a growing interest in motor sports and related activities. Motorcycle races are becoming a regular fixture across the Kingdom, with more participants on board year after year.
Two weeks ago, Siem Reap province hosted the Motorrad Angkor Festival 2019, which drew more than 2,000 bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts from Cambodia and other countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Before that, Total Cambodge, CMSF and Kampuchea Autosports Racing Agency organised Total Cup 2019 in Battambang province. The TOP1 2019 Enduro Challenge is another motor sports event that Cambodia hosted recently.