Saturday, December 17, 2005

Government move may sabotage Thailand football

The Football Association of Thailand appears to be on a collision course with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Tor Chittinand reported in the Bangkok Post, over proposals by the Ministry to set up a new Professional Football Association and an entirely new football league.

The FAT’s authorised Thailand Premier League, which is scheduled to be launched next month, has 12 teams, 10 from last season's Thailand League and two from the former Provincial League.

The alternative league proposed by Tourism and Sports Minister Pracha Maleenont, reportedly will have a 16-teams from around the country.

FAT president Vijitr Getkaew vehemently opposed the idea yesterday. "We do not agree with the Sports Authority of Thailand to approve the Professional Football Association. We strongly oppose setting up a new association as it will divide Thai football and cause a lot of conflict."

He said the government’s proposed Association and competition would have to be approved by FIFA, or Thailand could be banned from competitions. It would probably also sabotage Thailand's participation in the AFC’s Asian Champions League.

See also: Details of Thailand's new Premier League released (27 Oct)

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