Social media users were quick to praise the decision of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) to severely penalise four officials for engaging in corrupt activities.
On Wednesday, the FFC officially announced the sacking and lifetime bans for Deputy Secretary General May Tola, chief referee Tuy Vicheka, finance office chief Chhaing Piseth and administration office chief Kol Sophearom.
In addition, Tola’s case has been referred to the court for further action.
The four were accused and later admitted of pocketing 30 percent of the money that a beer company gave to the FFC for the development of football in Cambodia. The money involved is said to be between $50,000 and $60,000.
The action taken by the governing body of Cambodian football is unprecedented. In the past, erring officials or players were not dealt with as severely as the four.
In the comments section below the announcement, Facebook users overwhelmingly supported the latest action taken by the FFC.
A Facebook user named Chheun LeeMong said the actions of the erring officials deeply impacted football here. “These corrupt people deeply hurt the fans and Cambodian football. Take some legal action,” he said.
Another user said the penalty will set an example for others not to commit the same offence, while many simply thanked the FFC for taking a strong action against corruption within its ranks.
However there were some who questioned the Federation’s decision to announce it publicly. “The Federation ‘destroys’ Cambodian football by announcing it,” a user named So Pheak said.
The issue is the latest to hit Cambodian football, which already is reeling from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping through Cambodia and other parts of the world.
Before the scandal broke, officials already suspended all sports activities, including football, to prevent or slow down the spread of the deadly virus.