Did you know? In 1973, in Seoul, Korea, Cambodia (Khmer Republic) won the President’s Cup (also known as the Korea Cup) football tournament. The tournament took place between September 22 and September 30, 1973. Burma and the Khmer Republic (Cambodia) ended up in a 0–0 draw and shared the trophy.
Undoubtedly, football is the most popular sport in the Kingdom of Cambodia. People of all ages and from all walks of life play the game throughout the 25 provinces of the country.
In the early 20th century, French settlers introduced football to Cambodia, where it quickly gained popularity. In fact, the popularity of the game was rising so fast that the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), the country’s football regulating authority, was formed in 1933. In 1953, it affiliated to FIFA, and four years later, it joined the AFC.
After French colonialism ended, the national team for Cambodia was formed. In 1956, the team, known as Kouprey, played Malaysia in their first international match, which they lost 9-2 at home.
During King Norodom Sihanouk’s rule in Cambodia in the 1960s, the game became more popular. He is known as a sports-loving king in Cambodia and is affectionately named “Preah Beidha Keila Cheat,” or the Father of National Sports in English.
The Angkor Warriors’ golden era began with royal support. By finishing fourth in the 1972 AFC Asian Cup, Cambodia established itself as a strong contender.
By winning the 1973 President’s Cup, the team experienced its first-ever success on a global level. Despite starting out with a 6-0 loss to the hosts, Korea Republic then defeated Malaysia and Indonesia en route to the championship game, where they tied 0-0 with Myanmar to share the trophy .