Ja­pan’s Honda to man­age Cam­bo­dia na­tional team

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS - Keisuke Honda

PHNOM PENH: Ja­pa­nese star for­ward Keisuke Honda signed on as gen­eral man­ager of Cam­bo­dia’s na­tional team yes­ter­day in a move that brings high-pro­file tal­ent to a muchloved but strug­gling side.

The un­usual ar­range­ment will see Honda, who signed for A-League side Melbourne Vic­tory ear­lier this month and re­tired from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball in July af­ter Ja­pan’s World

Cup loss to Bel­gium, work with­out a salary for the length of the two-year con­tract.

The 32-year-old striker and for­mer AC Mi­lan player told re­porters through a trans­la­tor that he was keen to as­sist Cam­bo­dian foot­ball and pro­mote the coun­try.

“I will help Cam­bo­dia de­velop a real play­ing style,” he told a press con­fer­ence in Phnom Penh.

He added that he would speak reg­u­larly with the play­ers by video con­fer­ence while work­ing around the Aus­tralian foot­ball sea­son and would spend as much time in Cam­bo­dia as pos­si­ble out­side his ex­ist­ing com­mit­ments.

“The Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion of Cam­bo­dia is happy that Honda agrees to vol­un­tar­ily sup­port and help coach the Cam­bo­dian na­tional team,” fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Sao Sokha said.

Cam­bo­dia’s Fifa rank­ing sits at an un­en­vi­able 166 but in re­cent years the side has packed out sta­di­ums dur­ing home ap­pear­ances.

Honda is not a new­comer to the coun­try, hav­ing launched a foot­ball acad­emy in 2016 in Phnom Penh.

A post on his In­sta­gram ac­count said he had re­turned to Cam­bo­dia to “see and un­der­stand the coun­try’s sit­u­a­tion” and make a “big an­nounce­ment”.

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