Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cup fever

The Hun Sen Cup draw has been made at FFC HQ. Phnom Penh Crown drew National Police and most likely TriaAsia (representing Kandal province) and Battambang in their group, if results go with expectations. The FFC split the provincial teams into six regional groups/pools and their games will be played between 8-16 January. TriAsia are in the  eastern group, whilst Battambang are in the Western group. The best of the regional teams will then enter the final group stages, alongwith the eight best C-League teams from last season, and split into 4 groups/pools. The matches in this part of the competition will be played 22 January - 15 March. There hasn't been any indication of when and where games will be played, but it is likely to be midweek. The Hun Sen Cup competition is only for Cambodian-born players, foreigners are not eligible to play. Last season NagaCorp won the cup with Crown finishing in 3rd place. In group A of the final stages, Boeung Ket will meet the cup holders, with Svay Rieng drawn alongside Kirivong in group B and BBU with Army in group D.

Rumours have been circulating that the Olympic Stadium pitch is going to be dug up and replaced with artificial grass as part of a massive redevelopment of the country's football headquarters. No confirmation as yet on dates, but the timetable of such a dramatic turn of events could obviously impact on both the Hun Sen Cup and the Metfone C-League. Another suggestion was that the national football center at Tonle Bati would be the venue for re-arranged C-League games but of course, that would be an unmitigated disaster with the venue being some 40kms outside of the city. The Army Stadium would be a better fit, despite its appalling playing surface, though that could be easily fixed with a bit of effort and forward planning. But when did that ever happen.

Postscript: The final group stage matches will be played every Wednesday from 22 January, with two matches at Olympic and two games at the Army Stadium. Crown's matches will take place as follows:
Wed 29 Jan v Eastern Qualifier to be determined at 2pm @ Olympic Stadium
Wed 12 Feb v Western Qualifier to be determined at 4pm @ Olympic Stadium
Wed 26 Feb v National Police at 2pm @ Olympic Stadium.
The Hun Sen Cup quarter-finals will be on 5 March, the semi-finals on 9 March and the Final will be at Olympic Stadium on 15 March, KO 4pm.


StevenW said...

oh my...can't stand those artificial pitches and their unnatural is meant to be played on grass (of course I'm an old traditionalist!)

Andy Brouwer said...

yes football and grass go together like ham and cheese...but the pitches here in Cambodia are of poor quality at their best, the Olympic pitch is one of those and whenever it rains, it floods. An all-weather pitch should solve those problems, despite reservations that its NOT real grass.