Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Coach regrets loss of key player before SEA Games



Coach regrets loss of key player before SEA Games

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia’s Tes Sambath (left) prepares to play the ball during the AFF U23 Championship match between Cambodian and the Philippines. FFC

Coach regrets loss of key player before SEA Games

Cambodia's outstanding centre back Tes Sambath expressed regret, after injury ruled him out of the chance to compete at the upcoming Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi. The national football coach also shared his disappointment for the big loss to his team, saying the Kouprey will face serious challenges in the regional event.

Sambath picked up an ankle injury while playing for Visakha in the Cambodian Premier League against Kirivong Sok Sen Chey on March 19, and the club’s doctors say that the player will be out for at least three weeks. The 2022 SEA Games begin in two weeks.

Cambodian national coach Phea Sopheaktra told The Post yesterday: “Regarding Sambath’s injury, we know about it, of course, we just wanted to clarify how long recovery from this injury will take. According to the doctors at Visakha and the player himself, it will take another 3 to 4 weeks to recover. Thus, the prospect of this vital player joining the national team for the SEA Games seems very slight.”

“We will assess his injury in a few days. If he is unable to participate, it will be very unfortunate because this tournament is a big challenge for us. One of the reasons for our concerns at our prospects is that we do not have a lot of quality players. As the SEA Games restricts the age of players, Sambath was doubly valuable as a key player in the team,” he added.

The Kompong Speu born player also voiced his regrets after being ruled out of the important event.

“It will be my last SEA Games, so I feel really bad for missing it. It has long been my dream to play one more SEA Games,” said the centre-back.

The football competition at the SEA Games is for the Under-23 category and Sambath will be overage when the next edition takes place, at home in Phnom Penh.

“I was hopeful I would be able to play at the games and help my country. I wanted to show everyone what I could do for Cambodia. Sadly, my ankle injury has ruined my SEA Games dreams. I hope the team do well, and wish them the best of luck,” he said.

The 22 year old defender – who developed through Bati Youth Football Academy – was called up to join the national team at the age of 15, before continuing to make appearances with the Under-19 and Under-23 teams.

For the AFF U23 Championship 2022 which Cambodia hosted, he assumed the captaincy. He was bitterly disappointed when Cambodia was eliminated in the group qualifying after beating Brunei 6-0 and the Philippines 1-0 before losing just 1-0 to East Timor in their final group match.

“I really wanted to play in this tournament after the home loss to East Timor. I felt hurt by those who looked down on my country – and those who hated me personally – and I was determined to let them know what I have and change their minds. Unfortunately, injuries won’t let me,” Sambath said.

Drawn in Group B, the national men’s football team will face Laos in their opening match on May 9 before taking on Singapore two days later. They will play Thailand and Malaysia on May 14 and 16 to conclude the group stage campaign, with the group winners and runners-up going through to the semi-finals of the tournament.

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Railway project studies proceed

    The transport ministry is exploring options to expedite preliminary studies on key public railway infrastructure projects, especially the conversion of the Northern Railway Line that links to Thailand into high-speed rail. Railway freight and passenger transportation has been pinpointed as a major potential engine of

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Khem Veasna: The cult leader and the destruction of Cambodian families

    Since the establishment of the League for Democracy Party (LDP) in 2006 under the leadership of Khem Veasna, LDP supporters have gained momentum each year due to his literal speech, ideologies, and his style of appeal to certain groups of Cambodians. Recently, Veasna spurred belief in