After a successful stop in Poipet, Tiger Street Football rolled into the city of Battambang for the next leg of the league. Located along the Sangkae River, Battambang is among the most important urban areas of Cambodia.
The Battambang part of Tiger Street Football 2020 was held from Jan 31-Feb 2.
After three days of intense, action-packed matches, The Forest FC edged FC Crown (A), 2-1, in the provincial finals to claim the largest prize of $1,500 and at the same time become the top qualifier for the grand finals.
As the runner-up, FC Crown (A) took home $1,000, while third-placer Norea Team received $500. Fourth place and a $200 cash prize of went to Yuvachun Damspey.
The other six qualifiers from Battambang are Sean Phiseth (A), , PCO FC, STG Battambang United, Rak Karu (A), Kong Vong Clinic FC and Yuvachon Battambang (A).
There were a total of 124 teams that joined the Battambang leg of Tiger Street Football 2020, far exceeding initial expectations. The team turnout for this year was also much bigger than that of last year, when 96 squads competed.
In addition to Battambang-based teams, there were also teams from nearby Kampong Chhnang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey and Pursat competing in the tournament, which is widely viewed as the biggest and most exciting football event in the Kingdom.
Fans who have attended previous tournaments observed that the crowd turnout was far higher than past years. This would suggest that Tiger Street Football, now in its eighth year, continues to gain in popularity.
The spectators were later treated to a concert by some of the biggest names from Cambodia’s entertainment scene. They include Chhay Vireakyuth, Sok Pisey, Van Chesda, Chet Kanchna, Khemarak Sereymom, Sok Sreyneang, Sokhunisa and Nob Bayarith.
With the latest results coming out of Battambang, there are now 34 teams that have qualified for the grand finals.
Kampong Speu, the first leg of the tournament for this year, produced six qualifiers, including provincial champion Avatar FC, TN Kandal, Rhino Kampong Speu (A), Black Lion (B), Angsnoul United and SGC (A).
Provincial champion Samrong United FC topped the list of 12 qualifiers from Siem Reap, which also included Kiridongrek FC, The Brother FC, Fratello FC, Next Step FC, Steung Thmey Keila, Siem Reap FC, Reaksmey Siem Reap (B), Siem Reap FC (A), Thunder Youth FC, JAV FC and Siem Reap FC X.
Family Sisophon (A) won the Poipet leg of Tiger Street Football 2020 and was joined in the list of qualifiers by Bun Koy FC, Bun Koy Youth, Poipet United, Diamondstar A and Poipet Empire FC.
There are still 30 qualifying slots that need to be filled as Tiger Street Football rolls on to its next destination of Kampong Cham. A total of 96 teams from the province and nearby provinces of Kratie, Stung Treng, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng are expected to battle it out for the seven qualifying slots.
The next stop for the tournament will be Kampot, then down to Takeo and finally Phnom Penh for the much-anticipated grand finals. There are six open slots from Kampot, five from Takeo and 12 from Phnom Penh.
The grand finals of Tiger Street Football 2020 will be held in front of Koh Pich Theatre in Koh Pich (Diamond Island) from Feb 29-March 1. It will be a start-studded event where the 64 qualifiers will battle it out for the crown and top prize in front of one of the most admired names in football: Rio Ferdinand.
The soccer legend from England, who is celebrated for his unique technical ability and confidence on the ball, is widely regarded as one of the best defenders to have graced the football pitch.
In his role as brand ambassador for Tiger Street Football 2020, Ferdinand will also honour commitments within the country, including a meet and greet with players of the 64 qualifiers, surprise engagements with fans, media briefings and visits to several of the city’s futsal pitches.
Tiger Street Football 2020, which is intended to help develop football in Cambodia, will also feature games booths, special promotions and other fun activities, to help entertain fans of all ages.