The Daily Manila Shimbun


Soccer Star Honda’s Ties with Cambodia Official Raise Concern

December 18, 2018

Bangkok--Human Rights Watch has expressed concern over Japanese soccer star Keisuke Honda's involvement with Sao Sokha, president of the Football Federation of Cambodia and an alleged human rights violator, according to the international organization.

Honda effectively serves as coach of the Cambodian national team.

In a letter to Honda, Human Rights Watch said Sao Sokha, who doubles as deputy supreme commander of the armed forces and is close to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, has been "responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, illegal arrests, attacks on peaceful protesters, and other violations" carried out under the prime minister's hard-line rule.

Human Rights Watch said that it was "shocked to see a photo" of Honda and Sao Sokha, showing concern about the "close relationship" between a "world-famous football star" and a "world-class human rights abuser."

Honda currently leads the Cambodian national team while playing for Australian club Melbourne Victory. Jiji Press