Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium

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National Olympic Stadium
Stade Olympique national
A football match at the Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh (Chetra Chap, 2015). (19104466005).jpg
Panoramic view of the stadium on a matchday
LocationPhnom Penh, Cambodia
Coordinates11°33′30″N 104°54′43″E / 11.55833°N 104.91194°E / 11.55833; 104.91194Coordinates: 11°33′30″N 104°54′43″E / 11.55833°N 104.91194°E / 11.55833; 104.91194
SurfaceArtificial turf
Broke ground1962
Opened1964; 58 years ago (1964)
ArchitectVann Molyvann
Cambodia national football team
National Olympic Stadium in 2008

The National Olympic Stadium (Khmer: ពហុកីឡាដ្ឋានជាតិអូឡាំពិក) is a multi-purpose stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It has a capacity of 70,000. Despite its name, the stadium has never hosted an Olympic Games.


Tennis courts at the Olympic Stadium

Construction on the National Sports Complex started in 1963 and was completed in 1964.[2] Designer Vann Molyvann made use of massive earthworks to create the stadium, digging up 500,000 cubic meters of earth to shape the grounds.[3]

The stadium might have been built to host the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, but the games were cancelled due to political problems in Cambodia. There was the short-lived GANEFO games, that were held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November 25~December 6, 1966 and were named 'First Asian GANEFO'. The stadium did play host to appearances by visiting dignitaries and state occasions, and was the home of Cambodia's national athletics teams.[2]

The stadium played a small and integral part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, when North Korea faced Australia in a qualifier as the two remaining Asia/Oceania zone teams:[4] As North Korea lacked diplomatic relations with most countries and did not have a FIFA-standard venue at the time, while the Australian immigration laws in force meant the North Korean team would be unlikely to receive visas to enter the country, finding a suitable venue for the match proved difficult until Chief of State Norodom Sihanouk, an ally of Kim Il-sung, informed FIFA the matches could be held in Phnom Penh.

The matches attracted 60,000 and 40,000 fans, with Sihanouk decreeing half would cheer for Australia, while the other half would cheer for the North Koreans. The matches were held on 21 November 1965 and on 24 November 1965, with North Korea winning both (6–1 and 3–1). Because all African teams had withdrawn to protest FIFA declining to allocate them a place in the final tournament, North Korea automatically qualified for the final tournament, where they reached the quarter-finals.[5][6]

Among the facilities are Olympic size swimming pools for swimming and diving[2] and an indoor volleyball court with a capacity of up to 8,000, now known as the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena. The diving boards and swimming pools were restored in 2017 after years of disuse, and are now enjoyed daily by the general public.

During the Khmer Rouge era, the stadium was used as an execution site where officials of the Khmer Republic, formerly led by Lon Nol, were killed.[7]

In the decades following the Khmer Rouge era, the stadium facilities fell into disrepair. In 2000, the stadium complex was redeveloped by a Taiwanese firm, the Yuanta Group, which refurbished the stadium and also redeveloped parcels of the complex into condominiums and commercial properties.[8][9]

The stadium has come to be a popular attraction for Phnom Penh residents, who attend daily exercise sessions, as well as football games and other activities.

In May 2007, the Irish singer Ronan Keating performed in concert in the stadium's Indoor Arena, the first concert by a major international act in Cambodia.[10][11]

In November–December 2007, the World Organization Volleyball for Disabled held its World Cup in the stadium's Indoor Arena, the first major international sporting event in Cambodia in more than 40 years.[12][13] Cambodia, seeded fourth in the world, finished third.

In 2010, the stadium hosted all the football matches for the Cambodian Premier League, known for sponsorship purposes as the Metfone C-League.

In 2015, the stadium's grass pitch was replaced with artificial turf.[14]

The 2023 Southeast Asian Games will not be held at the Olympic Stadium, but at a new stadium to be known as the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex.[15]

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Cambodia, the stadium was used as a temporary testing facility and later used as an overflow hospital.[16][17]

International matches[edit]

Date Competition Team Res Team Crowd
22 March 2017 International Friendly  Cambodia 2–3  India 70,000
11 Sep 2018 International Friendly  Cambodia 1–3  Malaysia 50,000
8 Nov 2018 2018 AFF Championship  Cambodia 0–1  Malaysia 34,250
20 Nov 2018 2018 AFF Championship  Cambodia 3–1  Laos 25,000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Olympic Stadium Phnom Penh - Cambodia | Sportskeeda".
  2. ^ a b c Khmer Architecture Tours, retrieved 2007-11-25
  3. ^ Deconstructing Cambodia's modernist heritage, Asia Times Online; retrieved 2007-11-25
  4. ^ South Korea had been forced to withdraw due to logistical issues after the matches were moved from Japan, and South Africa, who had been moved to the zone, were disqualified after being suspended by FIFA due to apartheid.
  5. ^ The greatest story never told, Ron Gluckman; retrieved 2008-01-15
  6. ^ 1966 Qualifying Competition, Planet World Cup; retrieved 2007-01-15
  7. ^ Notes from Cambodia, Rich Garella; retrieved 2007-11-25
  8. ^ Illegal disposals of state property Archived 2007-10-31 at the Wayback Machine,; retrieved 2007-11-25
  9. ^ Building Phnom Penh: An Angkorian heritage, Robert Turnbull, International Herald Tribune; retrieved 2007-11-25
  10. ^ Ronan Keating does Cambodia Archived 2007-05-20 at the Wayback Machine, Details are Sketchy; retrieved 2007-11-25
  11. ^ Ronan Keating to perform in Cambodia, Starpulse; retrieved 2007-11-25
  12. ^ Prosthetic Prowess, Time; retrieved 2007-11-25
  13. ^ Disabled world cup volleyball kicks off in Cambodia Archived 2008-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, Agence France Presse, via Inquirer; retrieved 2007-11-25
  14. ^ Manjunath, H S. "Olympic Stadium goes artificial". The Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  15. ^ Yeun Ponlok and Ung Chamroeun (24 August 2012). "Phnom Penh sports complex plans laid bare". Phnom Penh post. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  16. ^ "British virus strain identified in Cambodia's fast-growing outbreak | The Star". Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  17. ^ "Inside Cambodia's lockdown: If you leave the house, you could be beaten. If you stay home, you might starve". 2021-04-29. Retrieved 2021-04-30.