Prime Minister Hun Sen is calling on sports lovers to understand and maintain dignity throughout the SEA Games’ football matches and urged people not to rush to venues without a ticket and not to gatecrash events.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Hun Sen made a public announcement asking the public to be organized and maintain dignity during the upcoming football tournament at the SEA Games 2023 to avoid unrest and overcrowding that may lead to accidents during the matches, which are expected to be a huge draw.
The SEA Games’ football matches will be screened in public places due to the size of the stadium, which is not large enough to accommodate all fans, the Prime Minister said. He added that the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as other sports, will also be screened across the capital.
“Recently, I told both provincial and capital authorities to prepare slides to show live streams for both the opening and closing SEA Games ceremonies in order to let citizens watch the shows outside. The reason is that the competition place is limited to serve people,” he said in his official Telegram group.
“Our stadium is not enormous, while the demand of visitors is quite high. Therefore, preparation for having places to watch from the outside is necessary and authorities everywhere have to be responsible while maintaining security as well.”
“I want all citizens that love sports to please be understanding and maintain dignity following matches,” he added.
The premier also raised concerns that during a football match between Cambodia and Timor Leste in 2016, there were some citizens who jumped the fence to attend venues, which disrupted order.
“That time and this time the situation will not be the same. Cambodia will welcome tens of thousands of guests to Phnom Penh city and other competition places in provinces such as Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kep and Kampot,” he added.
He clarified that those who do not have tickets can still enjoy watching all of the SEA Games’ events at the live streams in public venues.
“If there is no ticket that has been provided by event organizers, please watch the competition shows from slides outside that will be organized by authorities,” Hun Sen said.
With regard to accidents caused by large crowds, he said this usually occurs when a lot of people attempt to go to the same destination together and it gets out of control.
“If we rush in while there are tens of thousands of people, and if something like this happens, it has caused crowd collapses that some countries and our country have faced in the past. These are losing order and are dangerous for people’s lives as well,” he said.
On Monday this week, thousands of football fans queued at six locations across Phnom Penh to secure tickets for the first two matches of the SEA Games on Saturday, with all available tickets snapped up within hours.
On Tuesday, the Cambodia 2023 Facebook page posted that 5,000 remaining tickets will be shared for free at four official SEA Games shops or ticket pick-up booths at AEON Mall 1, AEON Mall 2, AEON Mall 3 and Eden Garden (Legend Cinema).
Cambodia will host the 32nd SEA Games, held from May 5 to 17, and 12th ASEAN Para Games from June 3 to 9.