Gov’t Asks Sokimex Tycoon To Build Sports Arena Arena

Hoping to boost Cambodia’s chances of hosting the 2011 South­­east Asian Games, government of­ficials have urged petroleum giant Sokimex to build a $200-million sports stadium on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, company pres­ident Sok Kong said Sunday.

The proposed stadium would likely be situated in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, close to Monivong Bridge, where the business tycoon owns more than 200 hectares of land.

“The government wants me to build a new stadium, but based on our studies we will not make a profit from it,” Sok Kong said by telephone.

“I think I will lose the money if I do it,” he said, adding that he was still considering the proposal and that a final agreement had not been reached. The project would cost an estimated $200 million, Sok Kong ad­ded.

Economist Kang Chandararot said that the investment might yield a profit since the stadium would be the only functional sports arena in the country.

In addition, he said that hosting the Southeast Asian Games would be very good for Cambo­dia’s image and tourism industry.

However, he expressed doubt that the SEA Games would come to the country.

“I would focus on reality in­stead of the plan [of getting the games]. In Cambodia there are many plans that never become real­ity,” he said.

National Olympic Committee Sec­­retary-General Meas Sarin said that a new stadium would help Cambodia’s ambitions to host the games, but it might not be enough.

“Even with Sokimex building a new stadium we will need many more [sport facilities],” he said.

In 2004 Cambodia had to forfeit its right to host the biennial Tiger Cup football tournament when officials deemed the Olympic Stadi­um unfit for the event.

 

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