Australian Rules Football Hits Cambodia

IDP partner, the Cambodian Eagles Football Club, supports youth and women through sport

Peter KOKKE, ACE Teacher


Australian Rules Football (AFL) has a long history across Asia, and AFL in Cambodia has seen an explosion in popularity recently with the emergence of the country’s first ever women's team in 2016. For a second successive year, IDP is partnering with the Cambodian Eagles Football Club, demonstrating an unrivalled commitment to AFL for development and inclusion in Southeast Asia.


Australian Rules Football, officially known as Australian Football, or simply Aussie Rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between goal posts (worth six points) or between goal and behind posts (one point).


Cambodia has led the way in developing the sport in Southeast Asia, establishing the continent’s first ever women's AFL team, called the Apsaras, in which the majority of players are Khmer. The Apsaras belong to the Cambodian Eagles AFL Football Club, which provides everybody and anybody with an opportunity to play and get involved in Australian Rules Football, as well as promoting and developing the sport in Cambodia, and engaging with the country’s young people. Established in 2008, the club has a proud tradition of introducing local players to the game and giving them opportunities to play sport, practise English with expats and travel across the region.


By competing in matches in Phnom Penh as well as internationally in Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and at the Asian Championships in Thailand, Cambodia's teams have developed resilience, strength and focus. Along the way, they have achieved some great results, highlighted by the Apsaras’ most recent win in the Indochina Cup in Bangkok. The Cambodian Eagles AFL Football Club encompasses three teams including the Apsaras (expat and Khmer women’s team), the Cobras (the national Cambodian men’s team) and the Eagles (expat and Khmer men’s team). Everyone is encouraged to join the teams free of charge or show support through sponsorship or by attending matches.

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit the CEFC Facebook page, Cambodian Eagles Football Club.


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