A father has cried foul over his son's abrupt removal from the list of mascots accompanying Chelsea players in Wednesday's friendly match, claiming his son will be replaced by the son of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Chelsea fans pack Rjamangala National Stadium at a training on Tuesday.
Kriangyos Sudlapha, the father of nine-year-old Noppadol, said Tuesday the organisers of the match told him on Sunday his son and several other children had been taken off the list of mascots accompanying Chelsea players on to the pitch in Wednesday's friendly against Thailand's Singha All-Stars at Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok.
He said the organisers told him the children would be replaced by Ms Yingluck's son Supasek Amornchat and four or five other children of cabinet ministers.
Mr Kriangyos said his son and the other children had already gone through the match rehearsals.
Noppadol's feelings are hurt and he does not want to go see the match anymore, Mr Kriangyos said.
His son previously accompanied a Manchester United player in the recent friendly against the Thai team.
Mr Kriangyos said his son also plays football and once had a chance to test his skills with West Ham United's youth team.
He said if the prime minister wants her son to be part of the event, he could take part in other activities such as retrieving balls for the players.
Singha Corporation said the company did not officially announce there would be a contest to become a mascot.
"We only received phone calls from parents who wanted their children to be part of it," a Singha official said.
"They would ask if there were any places available for their children and we informed them later whether their children were selected or not."
The official, who asked not to be named, said most of the kids are those of VIPs and Singha executives.
He said there was nothing wrong with the company giving a spot to the prime minister's son.
"Had I been authorised to make the selection, then I'd have selected the prime minister's son," the official said.
However, the official said Ms Yingluck's son may not even take part.
Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Uthaiwan Kaewsa-ard on Tuesday said at least 50,000 people are expected to turn up to watch the match. Wednesday's game will be manager Jose Mourinho's first in his second stint with Chelsea.
The match kicks off at 8pm.
Supasek ‘Nong Pike’ Amornchat, son of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, walks as a mascot into the Rajamangala National Stadium with Chelsea captain John Terry before the start of the football friendly between Chelsea and the Singha All-Star team on Wednesday night. Photo by Thanarak Khoonton)
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Writer: Manop Thip-Osod & Kittipong Thongsombat