Defense Minister to Head 2023 South East Asia Games

Longtime Defense Minister Tea Banh has been appointed president of the 2023 Southeast Asian Games, which will be hosted by Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced after a Council of Ministers meeting on Friday.

“The Council of Ministers…approved granting Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh the position as president of the SEA Games with a number of senior ministers as deputy president, such as [Finance Minister] Aun Porn Moniroth,” the premier wrote on his Facebook page.

“Besides the budget for the stadium’s construction, which is funded by our Chinese friends, the Royal Government is preparing roughly $40 million…to organize the 2023 SEA Games.”

A statement released following the Council of Ministers meeting said Cambodia’s robust economic growth—and recent sporting success on the international stage—had encouraged the government to further invest in athletics.

Asked about the 70-year-old defense minister’s sporting credentials, council spokesman Phay Siphan said, “His habit is golf. He plays golf with the prime minister and those from other countries. Besides that, I don’t know.”

Some 10,000 athletes and administrators are expected to attend the 2023 SEA Games, scheduled to take place from December 1 through December 15.

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