Was there football in Democratic Kampuchea?

football in Democratic Kampuchea

Despite having a flag, a constitution and all the trappings of a nation state Democratic Kampuchea was perhaps the least functioning state that existed within the 20th century.

This meant that almost all forms of entertainment, which of course included sport and indeed football simply did not happen during this whole period.

To read about the Constitution of Democratic Kampuchea click here.

Football in Cambodia prior to Democratic Kampuchea

Football and sport in generally were popular both in Sihanouk’s Kingdom of Cambodia, as well as in the brief period that was the Khmer Republic. During the Sihanouk era the country hosted its first international tournament, namely GANEFO a feat it would not achieve agin until 2023.

There were also football joys with the Olympic Stadium and Cambodia helping North Korea qualify for the infamous 1966 World Cup in England.

Domestic success though was also to follow with Cambodia finishing 4th in the Asian Cup of 1972 under the guise of the Khmer Republic, a feat it is unlikely to match anytime soon.

Football in Democratic Kampuchea

There are no records to state that any match at all was every played during the reign of Pol Pot, with this being the same for all other sports too., Sadly it is also expected that much of the sporting talent of the country including the victorious football team also died over the Killing Fields period.

This makes the nation one of the few very to have never played any form of match.

Football in the Peoples Republic of Kampuchea

Under the Soviet model a league was formed fairly quickly in the Peoples Relic of Kampuchea with the first such championship being won by Ministry of Commerce three times in a row, a feat never matched, unless Phnom Penh Crown pull it off this year (2024).

Sadly and quite disgustingly because the west recognized the rebel Collation Government of Kampuchea, the Peoples Republic of Kampuchea were reduced to playing matches against other socialist teams. This disconnect from world soccer has undoubtedly been factor it why development of the sport has since moved at such a slow pace.

Did the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea play any matches? Not as far as we know…