Sports

Japan’s Honda to coach Cambodian national team

PHNOM PENH, Aug 12 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/12/2018 12:18:08 PM IST

Former Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda has signed a two-year contract to coach Cambodia’s national football team without pay, Honda and the country’s soccer chief said on Sunday. “Honda has volunteered to help coach Cambodian national football team,” Sao Sokha, president of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), told a news briefing in Phnom Penh on Sunday. Sao Sokha said that the former AC Milan player won’t receive a salary but that the federation would pay for his travel and accommodation. “I hope that the experience of the international star will help improve the technique of our national team players and the match results will be better than before,” Sao Sokha said.

Honda said he would manage his time between Cambodia and Australia after signing with A-League club Melbourne Victory for the 2018/19 season last week.

“I would like to help the Cambodian team to have one clear style of playing and promote the country to the outside world,” Honda said through an interpreter.

Honda said he would hold a meeting with the team via video conference once a week but did not provide details of how often he would coach them.

The former AC Milan player bowed out of international soccer after Japan’s exit from the last 16 at the World Cup in Russia, having represented the nation 98 times and scored 37 goals.

Sao Sokha said that Honda would help bring fans back to Cambodian football and improve young players as the country prepares to host the 2023 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Cambodian soccer was showing signs of improvement in the 1960s before a brutal civil war, which included genocide under the Khmer Rouge regime, curtailed the sport’s progress and led to their 23-year absence on the international stage.

 

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