Thousands of people queued at venues across Phnom Penh to get their hands on tickets for the first two football matches of the fast-approaching Southeast Asia Games, with all tickets allocated within hours.
Free tickets for the matches between Cambodia and Timor Leste and the Philippines and Indonesia at Olympic Stadium on April 29 were released to the public at noon today, with crowds clamoring at the six venues to secure them.
Hornn Menghong, a mechanics student at Institute of Technology of Cambodia, was among those who queued at Olympic Stadium Monday's afternoon to get his hands on free tickets to watch football at the SEA Games for the first time.
He failed to secure tickets and was waiting for ones. He told Kiripost he is grateful because he does not have to spend money purchasing them.
“I am a fan of the Cambodian team, and Tang Bun Chhai and Reth Lyheng are my favorite players, they play for Boeung Ket and Naga football clubs, respectively,” said Menghong.
However, because of his strong support for the Cambodian team, the 20-year-old student said he would be willing to pay up to $10 for the tickets. He added, charging between 15,000 and 30,000 riels is affordable.
Sophea, a female student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh majoring in physics, said she would be thrilled to get free tickets to watch the matches. She didn't get ones on Monday. “I think distributing free tickets is a good idea because people who cannot afford to buy it can watch the game too,” said the 19-year-old student.
When asked about how much she is willing to pay for tickets, she said she would be willing to pay up to 10,000 riels.
Vong Sreynith, an accounting student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said she would have been able to afford the tickets if they cost $5.
While many welcomed the free tickets, there have been some complaints expressed online about a lack of information on how to access tickets for all of the tournaments, as well as secure them online.
One person posted on Twitter, “Anyone have any idea on what's happening with the SEA Games tickets in #Cambodia? Not talking about the football event that went live and broke everything today, but what about the stuff kicking off on the 29th? I can't figure out how to get tickets to anything.”
The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) announced that all of the tickets released on Monday had been allocated to members of the public within hours. The FFC added that he will make another announcement on Tuesday about whether any more tickets will be made available for the football matches.
Cambodia will host the SEA Games for the first time from May 5 to 17; however, football matches start on Saturday. Therefore, free tickets were distributed today from noon at six locations in Phnom Penh: Olympic Stadium, The Blue Sports Center, Fan Sport Store (Eden Garden and Soho Mall), Double H Sport and Sport Castle Sornthormok.