The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million).
In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia has no “Crown Prince” title under the terms of the Constitution.
“The Ministry of the Royal Palace would like to inform the national and international public that on September 18, 2021, there were various articles published in French newspapers related to a ‘Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Cambodia’ who intended to purchase the AS Saint Etienne football club for €100 million.
“The Ministry of the Royal Palace reaffirms that there is no article in the Constitution or the law on the organisation and functioning of the Crown Council of the Kingdom of Cambodia that stipulates the appointment of a Crown Prince, and there is no national institution nor any individual who has the priority right to designate a Crown Prince,” said the statement.
Citing French newspaper Le Parisien, several sports media outlets published articles saying that Cambodian Prince Norodom Ravichok was buying Saint-Etienne but the club’s board had not responded to the offer.
Negotiations for the deal could begin soon as the club is facing a difficult financial situation, the reports said.
“The prince is a fan of football, and is reportedly looking to carry forward the long-held ties between France and Cambodia by taking over one of French football’s historic clubs,” wrote Get French Football News.
Oum Daravuth, an adviser to Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, declined to elaborate, referring reporters to the ministry’s press statement.