Friday, May 11, 2012

U-22 clash of fixtures

Sos Suhana - will likely play for Cambodia in the AFC U-22 Asian Cup
With Sok Sovan and Sos Suhana involved in Phnom Penh Crown's AFC President's Cup and Singapore Cup matches, they have been missing from the Cambodian U-22 national team training sessions and practice matches in recent weeks. It's inevitable that their club gets first dibs on them for these important matches of course, whilst they are simply preparing for the national squad. Looking forwards, the AFC U-22 Asian Cup tournament involving Cambodia will take place at the end of June and early July. That means that Cambodia will be playing U-22 games during the current Metfone C-League campaign and according to the fixture schedule, Suhana and Sovan, if selected for the U-22s, and they will be, are set to miss two PPCFC matches against Chhlam Samuth on 23 June and BBU on 30 June. Of course this applies to all the C-League teams with players in the squad and beggars the question, why weren't the season's fixtures amended to take into account this new competition, rather than force clubs to play without some of their very best players in crucial C-League matches. It's certainly a question I'd like to hear answered by the Cambodian football federation.

The AFC U-22 Asian Cup has been introduced for the first time this year and the AFC expect it to become the second biggest national team competition in the football calendar, eventually acting as the Olympics qualifier. 41 national teams are taking part at 7 venues with six groups of six teams and one group of five. The top two teams in each group progress, as well as the best of the third-placed teams. Laos will host the Group F that contains Cambodia at their National Stadium and at the Chao Anouvong Stadium. The Cambodia U-22 matches are as follows:
  • Sat 23 June: Hong Kong v Cambodia
  • Mon 25 June: Thailand v Cambodia
  • Thu 28 June: Cambodia v China PR
  • Sat 30 June: Cambodia v Korea DPR
  • Tue 3 July: Laos v Cambodia

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