For the first time in its history, Cambodia is hosting the South East Asian Games (SEA Games) from this Friday 5 May until the 17th. Created in 1959 and organised every two years, they have never before been held in the kingdom. The country intends to make up for this shortcoming by investing considerable resources. The event has the largest budget in history, estimated at over 200 million dollars. A new sports complex, the Morodok Techo National Stadium, has been planned especially for the Games. Built by Chinese companies, it covers 115 hectares and can accommodate 75,000 spectators, including 60,000 in the main stadium. The announced cost is 160 million dollars. Around 11,000 athletes from 11 South-East Asian countries will compete in the 37 sports and 587 disciplines on the programme. Another first: Cambodia has chosen to make all sessions of the SEA Games 2023 free of charge, and even decided to close the country’s schools to allow the youngest to follow the events.
— Published 5 May 2023