Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on Wednesday expressed appreciation to Fifa for approving the use of the multimillion stadium, Bangkok Futsal Arena, for the upcoming Futsal World Cup.
BMA spokesman Wasant Meewong said the approval was given on the condition that the playing surface at the Bt1.3billion arena were finished by November 5. Fifa also ordered reducing number of seats from 12,000 to 10,000 and closed the fifth floor for safety reasons.
Officials of the Fifa, the world soccer’s governing body that has futsal in its portfolio, had delayed until today a decision on whether to approve the arena for use in the Futsal World Cup due to construction delays.
“The BMA would like to thank Fifa for approving the use of the arena that was finished within 270 days instead of 500 days as initially planned. We are confident of the strength of the structures and their safety. Safety has been at the very heart of the building of the arena,” the spokesman said.
A total of 24 teams will compete in the competition, which is being held from November 118 in Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima.
Fifa delegates led by Jaime Yarza, Fifa's senior manager of Futsal and Beach Soccer Competitions, on Monday inspected the venue situated in Nong Chok district on the outskirts of the capital.
The arena will be used for the cup’s final and semifinal rounds on November 14, 16 and 18, the spokesman said.
Due to the construction delays and pending approval from Fifa, the arena has already missed the initial handover deadline, costing the hosts the opportunity to stage an opening ceremony and to hold Thailand's groupstage fixtures at the venue.