Kazunori Ohara, who was recently appointed as technical director of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) through the Japan Football Association’s international dispatch program, has been named as the national team’s new coach.
With Cambodia’s World Cup qualifying bid set to begin at home in June, the timing of the appointment has raised serious questions regarding the FFC’s decision-making.
42-year-old Ohara, who previously served as a youth coach for various clubs in Japan, oversaw Bhutan’s national team as head coach between 2012 and 2014.
“We have decided to rearrange our setup as we have two teams (U-22 & Seniors) in international competitions in June,” FFC spokesman May Tola told Khmer Times. “We have decided to appoint Mr. Ohara to prepare the senior side for the World Cup qualification competition.”
South Korean coach Lee Tae-hoon, who was in the middle of his second stint with Cambodia, will oversee the country’s U-22 side as they contest the 28th SEA Games in Singapore.
Mr. Tola rejected suggestions that the FFC were placing more emphasis on success in the SEA Games, reassuring fans that World Cup qualification remained firmly on the Federation’s radar.
“Both the SEA Games and World Cup are very important to us,” he said. “Although we don’t expect to win at the SEA Games, we are expecting to make it to the semifinals. We are seeking good results in all competitions we participate in.”
(Article contributed by Ismail Vorajee, Khmer Times)