SEA Games host Cambodia vows no medal-fixing

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Cambodian athletes arrive home from the SEA Games in Vietnam bearing the flag of the SEA Games Federation on May 24. Heng Chivoan

Cambodia is determined to ensure that match-fixings are strictly forbidden in the 64th SEA Games next year, which it hosts for the first time, in a bid to uphold the principle of justice, fairness and transparency.

Cambodia also vies for more gold medals and hopes to better its medal tally position among other countries, an aspiration it holds despite being the host, said Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) secretary-general Vath Chamroeun.

“On that basis, Cambodia would not allow any scandal involving the fixing of results to win medals in any sport,” he reiterated.

Citing the advice of Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, who is also CAMSOC president, Chamroeun said the committee has to do its best, and be honest and fair in their technical work.

As such, the rules of the game will be respected, including the principles of fair play.

Previously, Tourism Minister Thong Khon, also the permanent vice president of CAMSOC and chairman of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), said he would not be held responsible if there was any case of medal fixing in any sport.

He stressed that Cambodia must maintain the principles of transparency and fairness in the competition for medals with sportsmen from other countries.

Chamroeun said he has already informed all national sport federations participating in the 2023 SEA Games regarding the introduction of the principle of transparency and fairness in winning medals without cheating or fixing matches.

In the meeting at the NOCC headquarters on August 11, Cambodia identified more than 500 disciplines that will be competing in all 39 sports, including one performance sport at the 2023 SEA Games.

The identification will be presented at the Southeast Asian Sports Federation Council in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We have met to determine the disciplines to be included in each sport, which has already been decided by the council.

“The main input we got is that there are more than 500 disciplines, equivalent to more than 500 gold medals which we have to organise at the games,” Chamroeun said.

He added that the committee has cleared and scanned all sports to make sure the disciplines which are selected have clear strategies.

“They [federations] have set strategies to seek for excellence and potential, and strategies for achieving success because we have detailed everything already.

“All federations have received their plans and identified their disciplines. This is another success for us towards technical preparation and the pursuit of excellence in the SEA Games,” he said.

At the same time, the sport governing body of Cambodia urged the national sports federation to pay attention to training to increase the technical level of the national team athletes because they are role models and have to compete to win medals for Cambodia.

These training sessions should include psychological, technical and physical training, he said.