PHNOM PENH (31 August 2012) – Cambodian football is set to grow the way the Philippines had done should the wishes of their former national striker Pen Phath come to fruition.
Pen Phath, now living in Paris, will be bringing the Khmer Europe XI, a team comprising players of Cambodian heritage based abroad in the next week to showcase what they have to offer for Cambodian football.
Following from their first visit in 2010, this is the second time that the Khmer Europe XI will be making their appearance with Pen Phath now indicating that they should be taken more seriously than just here for exhibition matches.
“We want to show our quality because we have collected Cambodians from many different nations. The players wish to prove they have the capacity to be considered for national team selection,” said Pen Phath to the Phnom Penh Post.
Of the 22 players signed up for the tour, 12 come from France, seven from Belgium, two from the Netherlands and one from Australia.
They will play a total of three matches – against Thai Premier League side Samut Songkhram in Thailand on 5 September, against reigning Hun Sen Cup champions Preah Khan Reach on 11 September and then the Cambodian national side on 13 September.
The Philippines Football Federation (PFF) decision to actively sign up foreign legions – players playing in Europe and elsewhere who has at least one Filipino parent – has borne fruit when they beat Vietnam at the last AFF Suzuki Cup to make the semi-finals of the championship.
The Philippines national side is also currently placed 150th in the world, just behind Vietnam (146th) and Thailand (133rd).