Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Keo Monorom is the first Cambodian female football referee

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Keo Sarin, Deputy Director General of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC), revealed that Cambodia has a total of 50 football referees. He said one of the best is female referee Keo Monorom, 26, who completed a training course in “Physical Education and Sports” in Cuba last year.

The Deputy Director General said that Keo is the only qualified female referee in Cambodia and one of very few in the entire world. On top of this, she is also the youngest football referee in Cambodia. Ms Monorom took six years of training in Cuba; hence she is a highly qualified referee and an honor to the Cambodian people.

“I am proud of her as she is a very active and capable referee and stands as a shining light and example to other women of Cambodia,” he said during an interview with the Cambodia Weekly on February 6. “I believe that she will share her skills and working experience with all the young football players of Cambodia – male and female,” he added.

Monorodom was born in 1983 and has four sisters and a brother in her family. She became a sports teacher in 2000 when she passed the MoEYS’s exam and undertook training in Phnom Penh. She is now working as referee with FFC in Phnom Penh.

“I have played football since I was seven years old. It’s always been my dream to be a top-flight player or referee in Cambodia,” she told the Cambodia Weekly.

Monorom said that she began working with the Football Federation of Cambodia on January 7, 2009, following her return from Cuba in 2008.

“I am now happy because my dream has become true and I am able to work for the FFC,” she said. “I am going to work hard and do my best in coaching other football players in Cambodia. I am also happy to share my knowledge and football playing skills with other young people, especially young women in Cambodia,” she added.

Monorom said that besides referee work, she was also assigned by the Football Federation of Cambodia to work as an English and Spanish Interpreter for the Cuban boxing coach at the National Olympic Stadium, in Phnom Penh.

Referring to her graduation, she said that she received a Sports Training Scholarship from MoEYS to study in Cuba in 2000. She said that during the 6 year-sports training course, she studied many sports subjects apart from football and refereeing skills.

She got a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education and Sports from Cuba in 2008.

“I am so lucky to have received a scholarship to attend the sports courses in Cuba and I now have a sports degree for life. I am ready to work with the younger generation and share my skills and experience with them,” she said, a beautiful smile playing across her lips.

Kim Saroeurn, 28, a sports coach at Boeng Trabaek High School, in Phnom Penh, said that she understood the extent of Monorom’s talents and experience.

“I have known Monorom since 2000 when I started training with her in Phnom Penh. She is very friendly, hard working person,” he said. “She was also the outstanding student in my class, and I am sure she will go on to make an equally outstanding referee,” Saroeun added.










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