Football Team Readies To Face Singapore Friday

Cambodia’s national football team will fly to Indonesia on Wed­nesday to play Singapore in their opening match of the 2008 Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, officials said Monday.

Football Federation of Cambodia Secretary-General Ouk Sethycheat said Cambodia was well prepared for the Friday game, which will be broadcast live on Star Sports beginning at 6 pm.

“We are ready and will do all the best efforts we have,” Ouk Sethy­cheat said, adding that the 22 players had been in a training camp since Oct 24.

However, the Cambodian team has not played other teams as part of their warmup ahead of the re­gional tournament, Ouk Sethy­cheat said, because Vietnamese clubs were too busy to scrimmage.

“We will try hard…provide enough food, and we don’t al­low anyone to do any drinking; we must have strict disciplines,” he said.

Regardless of the outcome in the tournament, Ouk Sethycheat said, it was a major success for Cambo­dia to qualify to compete.

Cambodian coach Prak Sovan­nara said the team roster had not been changed since the successful qualifying matches in October, but he added that he did not think his team would win in Jakarta.

He said the players didn’t stay together in the training camp be­cause they were busy playing in the Cambodian Pre­mier League.

“Our team, if it is compared to other countries, we are much further behind,” Prak Sovannara said.

However, he said, the current national team will not be beaten as badly as it has in past incarnations.

“Before we were defeated five, 6 to nil. This time, we can reduce [the difference] a lot. If they win, it can be by fewer [goals],” he said Monday.

Cambodia has never defeated Singapore.

Ouk Sethycheat said that as part of Group A, Cambodia is also scheduled to play host Indonesia on Dec 7 and Burma on Dec 9.

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