| PHNOM PENH (August 21, 2007) – The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) is overwhelmed with the response from the public to the on-going Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-17 Championship here at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.
His Excellency Ravy Khek, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee who is also the vice-president of the AFF, said that for the first match day on August 19, 2007, more than 25,000 spectators thronged the stadium.
Tickets for the daily matches are being sold at 4,000 riels (around USD 1 for the grandstand) while for the terrace, tickets are being pegged at 1,000 riels (around US 25cents).
“We had started a pre-sale exercise before the tournament begins but it did not go as well as we had hoped, so there was a worry that the response might not be that good,” said Ravy (pic).
“But on match day when tickets went on sale at 12pm, the fans came in drove and we were pleasantly surprised that more than 25,000 came to the stadium.
“Naturally, the ticket sales will not correspond with the attendance because we opened the gates in the second half of the match which allowed for more fans to come in and watch.”
The last time the FFC sold tickets for matches was way back in 2001 in the Under-20 Championship which was played at the 3,000 capacity Army Stadium.
Ravy added that the reason why the FFC decided to initiate selling tickets for the current Under-17 meet was due to the philosophy of FFC President Lt. General Sao Sokha.
“The president felt that for Cambodian football to grow, the people must change their habit where they must be willing to spend to go for games,” added Ravy.
“From here, we will be expanding our ideas on ticket sales where next time, we might opt to give discounts to students as well as looking at selling tickets for the Cambodian Premier League and the Cambodian Second League matches.
“The sponsors, the televisions are all happy with the response to the ticket sales where there is now a firm belief that apart from passion for the game, Cambodian also has the purchasing power.”
For the current meet, Ravy said that the FFC has decided to work with a private company to assist them in selling tickets.
“We get USD 15,000 from them and they are responsible for the ticket sales as well as giving us a report afterwards on the extent of their sales. This will naturally help us in the long run to improve our football.”