A Guide To The Football Federation Of Cambodia

The Football Federation of Cambodia is the country’s official governing body for football. It also administers activities related to futsal. The federation oversees the affairs of the Cambodian national football teams for men and women, U17, U21, and U23 teams, the national futsal team, and the football leagues in the country. 

The federation is based in Phnom Penh and is a member of FIFA, AFC, and the ASEAN Football Federation. This article offers a brief insight into the history and current status of the Football Federation of Cambodia. 

Football Federation Of Cambodia History

Football was first introduced to Cambodia by French settlers in the early 20th century. In a very short time, the sport’s popularity grew, leading to the formation of an official body for governing the sport via formal rules and regulations.

The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) was founded in 1933. It was initially named Federation Khmer Football Association (FKFA). The federation continued to operate under this name from 1933 to 1998, and then its name was officially changed to the Football Federation of Cambodia.

The FFC joined FIFA in 1953 and joined the Asian Football Confederation four years later in 1957. It did not become a member of the ASEAN Football Federation until 1996. It is hence a member of the AFC and sub-confederation AFF.

Although the federation was established in 1933, the national football team was not formally registered with FIFA until the country gained independence from France in 1953. The team was known as Khmer Republic national football team from 1970 to 1975 and was nicknamed Kouprey (meaning ox). It played its first international match against Malaysia in 1956 at its home ground but lost it.

Football, like other sports, went downhill in Cambodia due to the political and economic instability caused by the Khymer Rouge. The country could not participate internationally until 1993, and that too from Thailand.  It was because the acting king of the country, a stringent Buddhist, was against football and put a ban on it. He only allowed the national team to retain its status if it operated out of Thailand. The federation was allowed to bring the team back to the country in 2004 and establish it in Phnom Penh. 

The Role Of The Football Federation of Cambodia

The FFC is responsible for organising various activities and oversees the affairs of the national football and futsal teams and leagues for men, women, and youth. The federation also organises national and domestic level competitions. Here are a few details about the national team and leagues you may find interesting.

Cambodian national football team

The national football team, nicknamed the Angkor Warriors, has been participating internationally since 1956. The team first garnered attention in 1972 when it finished in fourth place in the Asian Cup. The team is currently ranked 177th in the world, and to date, it has not been able to participate in any major international event. 

One of the best players in the country of his time was Hawk Sochetra, one of Southeast Asia’s top two strikers. The players received the award for best Southeast Asian player in 1997.

The women’s national football team is currently placed at 120th in the FIFA ranking. The team played its first international match in 2018. The team played against Indonesia and won the match by a score of 12-0, its biggest achievement to date.

Cambodian Premier League

The FFC also oversees the affairs of the domestic football leagues in the country. The Cambodian Premier League is the country’s top men’s professional football league. The league was established in 1982. It currently comprises 8 teams and follows a promotion and relegation system with Cambodian League 2, the second-highest league in the country. 

The most successful club in the league is the Phnom Penh Crown, also the league’s current champion. Phnom Penh Crown has won seven titles to date. 

Is Cambodia in the world cup?

The Cambodian national football team is currently in 177th place in the FIFA rankings. Unfortunately, the team has not been able to qualify for the FIFA World Cup to date. 

Who is the best footballer in Cambodia?

Currently, the best football player in Cambodia is Chan Vathanaka. The 28-year-old footballer plays as a forward for the national football team and a Cambodian football club named Boeung Ket FC. The player made his international debut in 2013 and is renowned for his playing skills, agility, speed, and talent to score free-kick goals.

Is there a cambodia women’s national football team?

Yes, Cambodia does have a women’s national football team, which represents the country in international women’s football. The team is governed by the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), highlighting the country’s growing involvement in the global football community. The Cambodia women’s national football team made its debut in the AFF Women’s Championship in 2018, marking a significant milestone in the development of women’s football within the nation.

This establishment reflects the broader efforts of the Cambodia Football Federation to promote and develop football across all levels within the country. The formation of the women’s national team not only enhances Cambodia’s participation in international competitions but also serves as an inspiration for young female athletes in Cambodia, encouraging greater participation in the sport. The team’s involvement in tournaments such as the AFF Women’s Championship provides valuable experience and exposure to higher levels of competition, contributing to the overall growth of football in Cambodia.

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