The Tiger Street Football, the biggest and most awaited football tournament in the Kingdom, is back with a roar, featuring one of football’s most famous names, which is sure to excite and delight millions of soccer fans all over Cambodia.
The Tiger Street Football is back in the “Kingdom of Wonder” after touring Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia. The Cambodian version of this annual event is expected to equal or even exceed the success it experienced in other parts of Southeast Asia.
Now in its eight-year, the event promises to be the biggest ever that Cambodia will witness, with 746 teams expected to join and give their best in the qualifying phase of the tournament. The number of participating teams this year will be 20 percent higher than that of last year, according to the event organisers. Last year’s edition of the football festival drew 622 teams from all over the country.
This year, there will be 164 teams out of Phnom Penh, 128 for Siem Reap, 110 for Battambang, 96 for Kampong Cham. The rest are divided between Sihanoukville, Takeo, Poipet and Kampong Speu.
As in previous years, the qualifiers will be held in eight cities/provinces, including Kampong Speu, Siem Reap, Poipet, Battambang, Kampong Cham, Sihanoukville, Takeo and Phnom Penh.
The qualifiers have already started, with the first few games played in Kampong Speu over the weekend. The tournament will conclude in March. Last year, it was Sihanoukville that hosted the inaugural matches of the festival.
From the qualifying matches, there will be 64 teams that will emerge and compete in the grand finals that will be held at Koh Pich in Phnom Penh from Feb 29 to March 1.
As per tradition, the grand finals will be spiced up with the presence of a world-famous football star who is sure to draw huge crowds of fans from every corner of the Kingdom. This year, it will be Rio Ferdinand, who is considered to be one of greatest and most decorated English football players of all time.
The Tiger Street Football 2020 will also feature an array of entertainment and fun activities, including games, cheer dancing, live concerts, booths, special promotions among others. The concerts will feature some of the biggest names in the Cambodian entertainment scene.
They include Adda, KhmengKhmer, G-Devith, Chet Kanha, Van Chesda, SWSB, Tep Boprek, Mustache Band, Laura Mam, Vannda, Rizer Band and Suly Pheng.
Last year, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Police went home with the grand prize of $15,000 after a scintillating 2-1 win over Rolling FC of Phnom Penh. As the runner-up, Rolling FC received a $5,000 cash prize. It was a dramatic turnaround for the team out of Sihanoukville, which a year earlier narrowly lost to the Phnom Penh-based Anachak Baitong in the grand finals.
Tiger Street Football features a one-of-a-kind oval caged pitch, which makes it distinct from traditional football or futsal. It is often played with high energy to the delight of people watching it. Each game is divided into two six-minute halves.
The Tiger Street Football 2020 is organised by Tiger Beer to help develop football in Cambodia. Football is the number one sport in this nation of 16 million people. The sport has a very large following and is played in every corner of the Kingdom.
The event is also an opportunity for many young people to have fun, to showcase their talents and hone their playing skills under the guidance of veteran players.