Two Cambodian footballers will appear among the region’s best players in Jakarta on Sunday to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines last year.
National Defense Ministry FC’s Chhin Chhoeun and Phnom Penh Crown’s Hong Pheng have both been confirmed as part of the Asean All-Star XI, which will play against the Indonesian national side at the 100,000-capacity Gelora Bong Karno Stadium.
The money raised from the event will go toward victims of the typhoon, which ripped through the Philippines in November last year, killing about 10,000 people and displacing hundreds of thousands.
“It will be my first time to play in such a big match because we do not have this kind of match in Cambodia yet,” said Chhin Chhoeun, who came up through the ranks of the National Defense youth system and represented Cambodia during its World Cup 2014 qualification campaign.
“I am very proud to represent Cambodia in a big match which has a lot of the best players from other Asean countries. It shows that Cambodian football has been recognized and I want to use my experience to take part in raising funds to help Filipino people who were hit by the typhoon.”
Other players appearing in the squad include Thai striker Teerasil Dangda, who spent time at English Premier League giant Manchester City and is currently on loan at La Liga’s Almeria, and Malaysian national team captain Aidil Zafuan.
Phnom Penh Crown defender Hong Pheng said he wasn’t daunted by the prospect of appearing alongside the biggest names in Southeast Asian football.
“Our ability is not too different. We are also professional players. As professional players, we know how to play our role but it might be a bit difficult to understand each other because we never play together,” he said.
Former national Malaysian coach Datuk Rajagopal will manage the All-Star XI side. The match is due to kick off at 8 p.m. Sunday.