Singha Corporation said yesterday that it would not be fair for Thai football fans if the upcoming matches featuring four European clubs in Bangkok were affected by the ongoing conflict between the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and Fifa.
“We can’t say whether the conflict will affect our matches. What I can say is that, if all the four matches were cancelled due to any reason, would that be fair for the fans?” Jaturon Himathongkom, Singha Corp’s sports marketing director, told The Nation yesterday. “They are looking forward to watching these big matches, and all tickets [for the United game] are sold out,” he said.
FAT president Worawi Makudi warned on Wednesday that Thailand might not be able to host the four European clubs – Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona – if Fifa suspends the Thai FA’s membership. A suspension would result in the Thai football body’s exclusion from involvement any activities sanctioned by Fifa.
World soccer’s governing body threatened to suspend the association after an FAT meeting set for Saturday was cancelled as a result of an injunction issued by Min Buri Court. The meeting was set to discuss controversial rule changes ahead of Worawi’s bid to be re-elected as president.
As global partner of the English Premier League clubs, Singha is staging a match featuring Manchester United on July 13 and Chelsea on July 17 – both at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium against a Singha All Stars team. The matches are part of celebrations to mark the beer-maker’s 80th anniversary. Singha’s efforts to give Thai fans the opportunity to get close to the world-class teams are going to plan, said Jaturon, with both matches now sanctioned by the FAT.
Good news for fans is that the conflict between the FA and Fifa should not affect the Singha-hosted Manchester Utd and Chelsea matches, he added, as the two English giants were not playing the Thailand national squad. “Our matches are not relevant to the FAT,” said Jaturon.
Following the Manchester United and Chelsea fixtures, Liverpool FC and Barcelona are scheduled to play the Thailand team, on July 28 and August 7, respectively.