Cambodia reviving historical passion for football

Football is, needless to say, the most popular sport in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Across the 25 provinces of the tropical country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula, the game is played by people of all age levels and from all walks of life.

Football took root when French settlers first brought the game to Cambodia in the early 20th century. In fact, the popularity of the game was growing so fast that the country’s football governing body, the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) came into formation in 1933. It became affiliated to FIFA in 1953 before joining AFC four years later.

The Cambodia national team wasn’t, however, formed until the country gained independence in 1953 following the end of French colonisation. The team, nicknamed Kouprey, played their first international game against Malaysia in 1956, which they lost 9-2 on home soil.

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