Naga Corp, as CPL champions last season, will represent Cambodia in the AFC President's Cup in May, a competition for the top club teams from the third tier of AFC-ranked countries. On Friday, they were drawn in Group B with games to be played between 6-16 May against the champions of other emerging nations, Tajikistan (FC Vakhsh), Sri Lanka (Renown Sports Club) and Pakistan (Khan Research Laboratories) at a venue yet to be decided. Phnom Penh Crown represented Cambodia in last year's competition, losing twice before winning their last game. FC Vakhsh will be the toughest opponents for Naga, as they were the beaten finalists in the competition in 2006 and won their league title by beating the powerhouse team of Regar TadAZ. Favourites to win the cup this time around will be Kyrgyzstan champions Dordoi, who won Crown's group last year but lost in the final to Regar. There are eleven teams competing, divided into three groups with the group champions and the best runners-up qualifying for the finals.
The games will come just two months into the new Cambodia Premier League season, which is likely to begin on Saturday 27th March, though no official announcement has yet been made. Yes I know its only 3 weeks away but that's how it's done around here. Everything is last minute, seat of the pants stuff.
The new Phnom Penh Post weekly sports edition, only in the Khmer language, appeared on Friday and free copies were handed out to attendees at yesterday's cup game at Olympic Stadium. There was in-depth coverage of the Hun Sen Cup, other football leagues around the globe, a spotlight on teenage international Keo Sokngorn showing readers the technique of the 'rainbow kick' - which I've never heard of - and kick-boxing. The sports mad Khmer fans in the stadium lapped it up.