Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Same old, same old
It feels like the only time that Cambodian football makes the news headlines these days is when a journalist does a story on the African players playing, or not, in the Kingdom. First the Cambodia Daily did a spread, then Radio Australia and now last month's SEAsia Globe magazine have jumped on the bandwagon. It annoys me that the foreign players in Cambodian football get far more press coverage than the local Khmer players ever get and whilst they are an important facet of the C-League, they aren't the be all and end all. Whilst around 40 foreign players, mostly Nigerians, were connected to C-League clubs last season, there are supposedly upwards of 200 African footballers seeking places on the team rosters. Phrases like 'trafficking in footballers' and 'agents recruiting players with false promises' roll off the media pages all too easily. There are far more uplifting stories the journalists could pursue, but they don't, choosing instead to tarnish the game in Cambodia with the usual negativity that seems to be food and drink to the media. Cambodian football is much more than the press would have you believe, take the advent of Phnom Penh Crown's residential football academy for youngsters, as a prime example. Thousands of boys across the country following their dreams of becoming a professional footballer. These are the type of stories that we need to promote and shout about football in the Kingdom.