Thai clubs on edge as FAT ponders U-turn

Thai clubs on edge as FAT ponders U-turn

Ruling to cancel all ties to be reviewed tomorrow

Chainat's Florent Sinama Pongolle, left, vies with Buriram's Andres Tunez in a Thai League match.
Chainat's Florent Sinama Pongolle, left, vies with Buriram's Andres Tunez in a Thai League match.

The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) will meet tomorrow to review its decision to cancel the remaining matches of all domestic competitions.

Yesterday's announcement came just one day after the FAT decided to use the rankings of all leagues as of Oct 13 as the final positions for this season.

As for the League Cup final and FA Cup semi-finals, draws would be made to determine champions.

The decision was made in line with the government's request for cooperation from every organisation and all Thais to abstain from holding any 'entertainment activities' during the 30-day mourning period for His Majesty the King, who passed away on Thursday.

With the cancellation of matches, Thai League leaders SCG Muang Thong United would become champions, while 17th-ranked Chainat and 16th-placed Army would go down to League One.

BBCU had already been relegated.

However, government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday scheduled football matches could continue during the mourning period.

In response, FAT spokesman Patis Supapong issued a statement saying that the FAT would hold a meeting tomorrow at the Royal Thai Police Sports Club at 10am.

The FAT will discuss the matter with representatives from participating clubs and sponsors, the statement said.

Earlier, Army United submitted a letter to the FAT, asking it to reconsider the decision to cancel matches.

Chainat, who feature former Liverpool striker Florent Sinama Pongolle, also said they would appeal the decision.

Their complaints are understandable as six other clubs are fighting for survival with three games remaining.

After Friday's meeting, the FAT also announced that the warm-up game between Thailand and Iran would be cancelled.

It said a request had 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 wanted to change it to be an away game.

Football Federation Australia yesterday sought a clear stance on whether the match against Thailand in Bangkok will still go ahead following the death of the King.

The FFA said it was seeking official notifications from all governing bodies concerned whether the match scheduled for Rajamangala National Stadium in the Thai capital could still be played on the original date.

In a statement, the FFA said it was "awaiting official notification from Fifa and the AFC on the status of the Australia v Thailand 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier due to be played in Bangkok".

Australia are currently second in Group B with eight 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.

The top two teams of Group A and Group B earn tickets to Russia 2018. The two-third placed teams will meet in a play-off with the winners facing a Concacaf side for another berth. bangkok post/agencies

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