Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen​ at the Solidarity Dinner with Sportsmen and Athletes

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[Unofficial Translation]

Sports Movement Active to Local Level

I am so happy to have implemented a promise I made in the evening of 4 April of 2016 that we would meet once a year and 4 April will be the day. My wife, because of her personal schedules, could not make her presence today. Please allow me to express my warmest welcome to the presence of His Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, especially our sportsmen and athletes for joining this great family sportsmen and athletes event of Cambodia. I wish you all four Buddhist blessings. One year has passed after we met last year and we have made many progresses in the framework of national sports, not only those professional ones but in a wider framework among our people.

Everywhere I was in 25 provinces/cities, I have approved requests of students, youth, and children, teachers, and professors, for football grounds, volleyball and basketball courts, and gymnastics. Our sports movement has progressed at all levels, not only professional one. This has allowed for a selection of sportsmen who will proceed further to national level selections. Please allow me on this occasion to express my sincere appreciation for the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) for the efforts they have made to achieve remarkable progress in the sports area. I also thank the federations of all sports for their efforts to make each one of them advanced.

People Diplomacy through Sports and Culture

We have taken parts in various levels sports events and brought Cambodia pride and fame as our flag is raising high everywhere through sports. This has also brought among us Cambodians broader solidarity, and cultural and sports relations with other nations, which is a people diplomacy through sports activities and culture. I also take this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks to companies that contributed to promoting sports and supported every sports event. Sports can progress only with supports […]

Promote Sports at Every Level as National Movement

I would take this chance to express my appreciation to efforts made by schools from primary to secondary and to tertiary level for working to create sports movements throughout the country. I hope that our movement would continue through efforts making our sports movement national and not that of only the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports or NOCC. We must make it a national movement, whether there will be SEA Games or not we must excel for progress.

In the past, it was rare that we could win gold, silver, or bronze medal from foreign sports event. In the last few years, we had won them from regional and world sports competitions. I hope our sportsmen and athletes will continue to make progress to bring the country fame being in equal footing with other countries. I have spoken on various occasions that success in sports would not depend on size of a country or how big population a country has or how rich a country is. It is in this understanding that we must make efforts to place our nation on equal status and footing with other countries and make the best we can in sports.

Winning or Losing, Sportsmen Must Respect the Rule

I am taking this opportune moment to appeal to sportsmen to play by and respect, winning or losing, rules. We should not get red card because of intentional fouls. Should it be an unintentional and/or technical foul, we also must respect the arbitrary decision. However, I am urging our sportsmen in every competition event to respect international standard required in competitions. In every sport there are measurements, unlike in politics […] I hope our grand children will make the best of their trainings and will take part actively in the 2023 SEA Games or in other regional sports events. I am glad that we can meet according to schedule that we made last year and at the time that we have just inaugurated one phase of our stadium construction projects and started a new phase of building the main section of the sports complex Morodok Techo./.