Cambodia PM announces free entrance for SEA Games 32

By Hieu Luong   April 1, 2023 | 05:30 pm PT
Cambodia PM announces free entrance for SEA Games 32
Aerial view of Morodok Techo National Stadium, which is the venue for SEA Games 32 opening ceremony in Cambodia. Photo by Maharaja45
Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen affirmed that SEA Games 32 and ASEAN Para Games 12 will be open for free to all spectators.

"I absolutely have not agreed to permit ticket sales for the opening and closing of the games, nor any of the competitions," the Phnom Penh Post quoted the prime minister as saying on Thursday. "Anyone who defies this instruction will be accountable to me and the law."

According to Hun Sen, Cambodia’s efforts to make the SEA Games 32 a success could not be spoiled by something like ticket sales.

It added that the government will also allow the event to be broadcast for free, both inside and outside of Cambodia.

The Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC) also posted Hun Sen's directive on their official site. Fans who have already purchased tickets will be instructed by the organizers on how to get their money back in another announcement.

However, there are also many Cambodians who are concerned that not selling tickets at SEA Games 32 may lead to unintended consequences, such as uncontrolled crowds at the venues. Others said that the organizers need to enhance security to control the number of fans entering the venues during the competitions.

The free entrance policy was applied by other host countries at previous SEA Games. At the SEA Games 31 in Vietnam last year, the host only sold tickets for the matches of the U23 Vietnam men’s football matches to control the number of people entering the stadium because the demand was much bigger than for other sports.

SEA Games 32 will take place from April 29 to May 17 in five cities in Cambodia - Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kampot, Kep and Sihanoukville. Nearly 10,000 athletes will compete in 37 sports with 600 categories.

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia has spent more than $100 million for SEA Games 32. This is the first time the country has organized a regional sports event, after refusing many times in the past due to its limited facilities.

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