Prime Minister Hun Sen has affirmed that the opening ceremony and all events of the upcoming 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games will be free to the public, and that tickets will not be required, as was “falsely” reported.

In a special audio address to the nation, Hun Sen said there will be no requirement to buy tickets to join the opening of the May SEA Games, which will be hosted by Cambodia for the first time in history.

“We have spent money on special technology for the ceremony, and have also invested millions of dollars in infrastructure to host these games, but China supported the construction of the Morodok Techo National Stadium,” he said.

“I absolutely have not agreed to permit ticket sales for the opening and closing of the games, nor any of the competitions,” he added.

In the last few days, several sports media websites had published alleged prices for the opening ceremony, suggesting that tickets may sell for as much as 200,000 riel ($50).

“Our people will be able to attend the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies and all of the sporting contests without having to pay any money. Anyone who defies this instruction will be accountable to me, and before the law,” he warned.

Hun Sen said the Kingdom’s efforts to make the games a success could not be spoiled by something like ticket sales.

“I am not accusing anyone of allowing this rumour to circulate, as I believe this is the first setback we have experienced. Let me make clear that this was not an error on the part of Tea Banh. I am taking this very seriously, and will identify those who are responsible,” he added.

“This calls the responsibility of the government for the people into question, and cannot be taken as a joke. We have been waiting 44 years, and spent a lot of resources, time and money to make sure it is a triumph,” he stressed.