Samurai Sword Brawl Erupts At Football Match

A fight between two rival gangs of teenagers, one armed with a samurai sword, erupted just before Cambodia’s surprising win over Singapore in a football friendly at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium on Thursday night, injuring two teens, officials said.

Military police responded to the stadium after receiving reports that a brawl between two groups had started inside the stadium shortly before kick-off, said Kong Kiny, deputy commander of the Phnom Penh military police.

“When I heard my staff announce on the radio about the hacking, I led 30 military police directly to the scene to crack down,” Mr. Kiny said Friday.

Mr. Kiny said the fight occurred as hoards of fans arrived to watch the match, and that authorities were unclear about just how many people were involved. Two teen­ag­ers were rushed to Calmette Hospital, one with a sword cut that reached the bone, and four attackers were detained, he said.

The four admitted that the fight had been prearranged due to an ongoing dispute, although they did not give further details, he added.

However, Aun Laiy, deputy commander of the Prampi Makara district police, said the attack happened “because these two groups challenged each other over a girl.”

Mr. Laiy said he was aware of three arrests and named the suspects as Srey Sereyvuth, 16, Phat Chanmey, 17, and Sourn Sokleang, 17. The two injured teenagers, Chhang Sok Ann, 16, and Sok Khem, 19, both sustained wounds to their forearms. After receiving treatment, they were brought in for questioning about the fight but were later released, he said.

One of the attackers said he sneaked the samurai sword into the stadium in his trousers, while another claimed the weapon had been stashed near the stadium fence and the boys retrieved it after being searched by police at the en­trance, Mr. Laiy said.

The three suspects were still being questioned at the Phnom Penh military police headquarters on Friday evening, he said.

Cambodia went on to beat Singapore for the first time in 44 years, winning 2-1.


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