Its the free games but many still unhappy as Cambodian PM calls for calm over SEA Games ticket rows

PHNOM PENH, May 6 (Phnom Penh Post/ANN): Prime Minister Hun Sen requests that the public, whether Cambodian fans or foreigners, refrain from attacking one another on social media over a perceived lack of tickets for the 32nd SEA Games, particularly football matches and the opening and closing ceremonies.He said that although the stadiums or venues can accommodate many spectators, they cannot hope to match demand from dedicated sports fans.Hun Sen made the call via social media on May 3, two days before the official opening of the biennial multi-sports event, saying he had noted that the availability of tickets had become a heated topic across many social media channels, with some account users even launching attacks on the games’ organising committee.“Tickets to the opening and closing ceremonies and the Young Kouprey’s football matches have become a topic of debate. I ask for sympathy from the public, because this is a problem that cannot objectively be solved. The National Olympic Stadium can accommodate 30,000 to 40,000 spectators, but up to 300,000 or 500,000 spectators want to attend each match,” he explained.“Similarly, the opening and closing ceremonies will take place at the Morodok Techo National Stadium, which can hold 60,000 to 70,000 spectators, yet more than half a million people want to witness it,” he said.The premier said he understood that those who received tickets were happy, while those who did not were frustrated.“Some of them had posted criticism of the organisers on social media, but they [organising committee] have done the best they can, as our venues are small. We are pleased that a great many people want to witness this historic event, but unfortunately we cannot please them all,” he said.In order to let people enjoy the events in person, Hun Sen ordered that the leaders of the capital and provinces set up outdoor projectors at pagodas, parks and markets across the country.He asked for sympathy from the public, saying that the problem could not be solved, noting that similar difficulties befell the organisers of similar events in almost all countries.“Other countries sold tickets. Those who bought them were happy, while those that could not were disappointed. We decided to make all events free, but regardless of demand, we cannot give away more tickets than the capacity of the venues. The number of spectators was set to avert possible risks caused by overcrowding, as public safety is our number one priority,” he said.He called on all ticket holders to attend, saying that if they were unable to make it to an event, they should hand their ticket to someone who was unable to get one.“This is the best possible solution. I hope that the Kingdom’s sports lovers will understand the position of the government and the organising committee,” he said.The 32nd SEA Games will formally begin with the May 5 opening ceremony at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in the capital. The event will wrap up on May 17, with a closing ceremony at the same venue. – Phnom Penh Post/ANNReport it to us.Thank you for your report!