On November 8, Phnom Penh Crown FC have suspended seven players and four officials from all football activities connected with the club for an indefinite period. Mr Rithy Samnang, Phnom Penh Crown FC president, confirms the situation:
“I am extremely saddened to announce a severe punishment of an indefinite suspension from all club activities for 7 players and 4 officials of Phnom Penh Crown FC. These suspensions are for gross misconduct and a serious breach of their employment contracts by way of match manipulation and the deliberate harming of Phnom Penh Crown FC’s reputation. This included persuading said 1st-Team players to under-perform in key matches over the past two months, plans to hurt key foreign players in training, as well as using proxies and fake accounts to post negative and inflammatory comments and images on Facebook.
“Honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of professional football and we will not tolerate any activities, for whatever reason, relating to the manipulation of football matches and the influencing of match results. Corruption and match manipulation are a poison within sport in general and in football in particular. We want football to be played in an atmosphere where supporters can trust the integrity of the players and the sincerity of the results.
The suspended players and officials have violated the principles of trust, loyalty and sportsmanship and we find this to be totally unacceptable behaviour.
This is an internal matter within Phnom Penh Crown FC and no other club, players or officials are implicated in this action. This action has been taken with the full co-operation of the appropriate authorities.”