Cambodia officially withdraws from 2018 Homeless World Cup
Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA) regretfully announces the withdrawal of Cambodia's team from the 2018 Homeless World Cup football tournament to be held from the 13th to 18th of November in Mexico City, Mexico.
This difficult decision was made due to serious concerns regarding the process required to obtain Mexican visas for HFCA's eight young Khmer players, including the expectation that they spend an extended period of time - without passports - in neighbouring Thailand waiting for visas to be processed by the Mexican embassy, with additional travel to the embassy in Vietnam for three players. It is HFCA's belief - shared by partner organisations - that this process would detract from the studies of, and put an undue amount of pressure on, the players, who have come from underpriveleged backgrounds and have not previously travelled outside of Cambodia.
"We are disappointed by the lack of assistance received from Mexican officials, after six months of negotiations, in obtaining visas for our players to attend the Homeless World Cup - an event that prides itself on inclusiveness and fair opportunities for all", says HFCA CEO Paraic Grogan.
"As can be expected, our players are very upset that they will be unable to represent their country next month in Mexico, but we will do all we can to ensure they have the opportunity to compete in Wales, at the 2019 tournament. This is a very disappointing time for our organisation."
Player Vannet Phal, 20, said the players were sad to miss out on the chance to represent their country abroad.
“We are very disappointed as we have been training very hard and we were looking forward to the experience,” said Vannet, a defender in the team who comes from our partner Cambodian Children's Fund
“But I hope that I can go to Britain next year and play.”