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FFC prepare bonuses for national footballers

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The Cambodian football team’s Japanese general manager Keisuke Honda leads his team in a training session, ahead of their qualifying match against host India on June 8. FFC

FFC prepare bonuses for national footballers

The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) has prepared a $160,000 package for the Cambodian national football team, who are currently on tour in India to play their final games of the qualifying rounds of the AFC Asian Cup. The bonus package has been divided into two separate parts.

According to the FFC’s announcement, $40,000 of the package will be provided to the national team as initial incentives for their travel to the South Asian country. A further $120,000 will be offered should the team advance to the final stages of the tournament.

The release of the package for the Kouprey is seen as an important strategy by the sport’s administrators to encourage and motivate all 23 players – and the coaches and management staff of the team – to be mentally and physically strong in their mission. The team touched down in India on June 5.

However, the journey to the finals will ask many difficult questions of the team, as they have found themselves in a tough qualifying group. Group D contains hosts India, Hong Kong and Afghanistan, all of whom are considered stronger teams than the Kingdom’s, and whose FIFA rankings reflect their strength.

General manager of the Cambodian national team Keisuke Honda and his coaching staff already know that their team will have to work hard and probably won’t be able to compete in open play against these three opponents. Playing with one eye on defence might be the best option in the qualifiers.

The Cambodian national team already demonstrated their new style of play during their international friendly against East Timor at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh on June 2. They played behind the defensive zone and counterattacked quickly whenever they gained possession. The test of the new formula was successful, with the Kouprey fighting back to earn a 2-1 victory.

“Of course we are not satisfied yet. We have already changed our mind for the next matches,” announced Honda on social media, shortly after the match.

Cambodia’s head coach Ryu Hirose echoed Honda’s comments.

“To prepare for the AFC qualifiers as well as other events – in this year and the next – we must change up our style of play,” he said at a press conference after the game.

The qualifying matches begin with a June 8 match against hosts India. The Cambodian men will face Hong Kong three days later, before meeting Afghanistan on June 14 in their final group match. The top team from each of the groups, along with the five best of the second-placed teams, will advance to the finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

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