National Pride among Cambodian Youth: Cambodia Vs. Afghanistan for FIFA 2018 Qualification

LasIMG_2680t Tuesday night on June 16th, we went to a “football” game between Cambodia vs Afghanistan, it was one of the four game qualifying games for FIFA World Cup 2018. The game was hosted at the Olympic Stadium, where most international and national sports events are usually held. Despite its name, the stadium never held an Olympic game due to its capacity. It can seat 50,000 people, but that did not stop hundreds of Cambodian youth from flocking into the stadium to watch the football game. The stadium was packed, every seat were filled and many people were standing up to watch the game. All around the stadium, the flags of Cambodia IMG_2684from all sizes could be seen waving in the air, people dressed in blue and red representing the colors of the flag, most people were wearing the official football shirts that the players wear. It was an electrifying experience for me, I never did wave more than 10 times during a sport event or clap in rhyme with a drum for the whole game or jumped up and cheered every time the ball was on the  Afghan side of the field or when the Afghan players missed the goal. Cambodian people, especially the youth, strongly support their national football team, the stadium are always packed for every football game, even though they know that the team is not at the high level of performances like other countries’ team around the world yet. They have high hope for the team and oIMG_2704ther national teams as the new Action plans are being implementing by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to get the teams ready for the SEA Game. The result was 0-1 with Afghanistan’s victory.