Cambodia had a head start compared to many other Asian countries. The French brought the game with them to Cambodia in the early part of the century and slowly but steadily the game gained popularity amongst the local folk.In fact, by the 1960s, at a time when many countries in the region were just starting to get involved in the game, Cambodia had developed a strong side. By 1972, they finished fourth in the Asian Cup tournament.
Their progress was completely destroyed when civil war erupted and the game would never again be the same. Cambodia began to pick up the pieces in the mid-90s and they have started taking part in regional tournaments such as the Southeast Asian Games and Tiger Cup competitions. In the 1997 Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta, Cambodia recorded victories over Myanmar and Brunei. In the World Cup qualifying match against Indonesia, one of the powerhouses of the game in the region, Cambodia stunned everyone when they held their opponents to a 1-1 draw.
At the domestic level, Cambodia has an 8-team league which was set up in 1996. There are plans for the game to turn professional soon.