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 gradually the game gained popularity amongst the locals.
By the 1960s when many countries in the region were just warming up to the game, Cambodia had developed a strong side. By 1972, they had finished fourth in the Asian Cup tournament. However, civil strife set back their developmentand the game would never be the same again. In the mid-Nineties, they began picking up the pieces by 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.