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Cambodia’s leading mobile operator Smart Axiata announced today a new two-year partnership agreement with Cambodia’s largest football club, Phnom Penh Crown Football Club (PPCFC).

Under the partnership, Smart will provide PPCFC with valuable support for the club’s operations and it will acquire naming rights to PPCFC’s stadium, which will now be known as the ‘Smart RSN Stadium’. Together, they will also launch a Smart Youth League to help develop young football talent in the Kingdom.

“The partnership aims to inspire a new generation of young male and female footballers, providing opportunities for them to pursue sports as well as build new friendships through one of the most popular sports in Cambodia,” explained Smart Axiata CEO, Thomas Hundt.

“We are delighted to continue supporting Phnom Penh Crown in their mission of developing Cambodia’s future national football players. Smart is active in supporting grassroots sport and we are pleased to take this support to the next level with this partnership,” Thomas added.

PPCFC has a strong history of developing top football talent. The first youth training program was created in 2011 in accordance to FIFA standards, winning major awards such as the U15 National Youth Champion and the U17.

Thirteen of the players in the national squad for the recent U22 AFF Suzuki Cup 2019 and U23 AFC qualification were graduates of the football training program at PPCFC.

The formation of the three-month long Smart Youth League is an additional step in developing football in Cambodia, explained Okhna Rithy Samnang, President of Phnom Penh Crown

“We want to give more chances to young players, school teams and community teams in Cambodia to compete as well as to develop their skills with professional training. The support from Smart is central to this, and we are proud that this partnership supports PPCFC as we strive for continued success in the 2019-2020 season, in developing our women’s team, in developing youth football and our efforts to use football as a tool for social development.”

The Cambodian Premier League was founded in 1982 and contained 13 teams for the 2018-2019 season. PPCFC is the most successful club, having won the league 6 times. The Smart RSN Stadium has a maximum capacity of 5,000 and is named after club president, Oknha Rithy Samnang.

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