Powerhouses to visit Thailand

Four of the world's leading football clubs will visit Thailand this year, the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) confirmed yesterday.

SAT governor Kanokphand Chulakasem said Rajamangala National Stadium had been booked for Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool friendlies in July and August.

United are scheduled to play at the stadium on July 13, followed by European champions Chelsea on July 17, Liverpool on July 28 and Spanish league leaders Barcelona on Aug 10, according to Kanokphand.

"It will be the first time that four world-class teams play here in the same year," said Kanokphand, who added that their opponents had not yet been determined and declined to give further details.

United and Chelsea will play here as part of the 80th anniversary celebrations of their partner Singha Corporation. Chelsea have confirmed their trip to Bangkok while Singha Corporation is scheduled to confirm United's visit tomorrow.

The Liverpool match is sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand while Barcelona's trip is being organised by their partner, Thai Beverage.

Barcelona were reportedly not happy with the pitch condition at Rajamangala but Kanokphand insisted it will be ready.

"It will be in top condition for the visits by the four teams," Kanokphand said.

The pitch was partly blamed for Thailand's 3-1 loss to Kuwait in their opening Asian Cup qualifying match earlier this month.

The stadium was turned into a makeshift circuit to host last year's Race of Champions, an exhibition event featuring racers from various disciplines, including Formula One.

About the author

Writer: Kittipong Thongsombat
Position: Reporter