Kirins bag title as league ties are cancelled

Kirins bag title as league ties are cancelled

FAT also seeks changes in international fixtures

Muang Thong forward Cleiton Silva, right, vies with Bangkok United's Putthinan Wannasri during a Thai League match.
Muang Thong forward Cleiton Silva, right, vies with Bangkok United's Putthinan Wannasri during a Thai League match.

A decision by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) to cancel all competitions under its auspices until the end of this year has handed SCG Muang Thong United the Thai League crown.

The move has come in the wake of the sad passing away of His Majesty the King on Thursday, which has plunged the whole nation into a state of mourning.

The government has sought cooperation of every organisation in the country to abstain from holding any 'entertainment activities' for a month as a mark of respect to the nation's sentiments.

Following yesterday's meeting of FAT executive committee members, its president Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang announced the cancellation of all events this season.

The FAT said in a statement that every domestic competition such as the Thai League and League One has been cancelled and current standings are considered as the final rankings for this season.

So far, 31 matches have been played by each team in the Thai League and 26 in League One.

The teams with most points in both leagues have been awarded the titles and those in the red zones relegated.

Thai League leaders Muang Thong had 80 points, five ahead of Bangkok United.

The League Cup final, which was to be played today between Muang Thong and Buriram United, and the FA Cup semi-finals, scheduled for Nov 2, have also been cancelled.

The teams in the FA Cup semi-finals were Ratchaburi, Sukhothai, Chonburi and Chainat.

Supasin Leelalrit, chairman of the FAT organising committee, said: "There will be no competitions for the rest of this year.

"For the League Cup final, there will be a draw to find the winners of the title, while for the FA Cup, there will be a draw to determine the four teams' rankings. The date of these draws will be announced later."

Muang Thong, who accumulated 80 points after 31 matches, have been crowned the Thai League champions, while Army United (30 points), Chainat (30) and BBCU (13) have been relegated.

Thai-Honda, with 52 points after 26 matches, have won the first League One title and been promoted to the Thai League along with Ubon UMT (49 points) and Port (47). No teams were relegated.

Meanwhile, Adirut Nakasai, vice-president of the Chainat side, has posted on his Facebook page that while he agreed with the cancellation of all domestic events, it is not fair that his Hornbills and Army United have been relegated.

"Actually there are a number of ways to deal with the issue of relegating teams this year," said Adirut.

He added: "They could have relegated only BBCU and the Thai League could have had 20 teams for the 2017 season. They can then relegate the bottom five clubs at the end of next season, so that the total number of Thai League teams could return to 18 for the 2018 season.

"We will submit an appeal to the FAT. We feel it is not fair to us to be relegated to League One. If the decision stands, we may dissolve the team."

The FAT also announced that the warm-up game between Thailand and Iran will be cancelled.

A request has also been sent to both Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation, seeking a change in the venue for Thailand's fifth Group B game of the final Asian phase of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup against Australia.

The match is scheduled to be played in Bangkok on Nov 15 and the FAT has sought it to be changed to an away match. In case of a refusal on the part of the Australian team, the FAT will look for a neutral venue for the match.

Australia are currently second in Group B with nine points, two behind Saudi Arabia. Japan are third with seven points and the United Arab Emirates fourth with six. They are followed by Iraq (four) and Thailand, who have yet to claim their first point.

For the AFF Suzuki Cup, the premier Asean competition which will be held from Nov 19-Dec 17, Thailand will play their home game at a neutral venue if they qualify for the semi-finals.

The group stage will be held in the Philippines and Myanmar.

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