Somyot confirms interest in joint bid for World Cup

Somyot confirms interest in joint bid for World Cup

FAT chief Somyot Poompunmuang.
FAT chief Somyot Poompunmuang.

Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Somyot Poompunmuang confirmed yesterday that his organisation and Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) want to put forward a joint bid to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup.

The move has received the backing of the Asean Football Federation (AFF).

During last week's AFF annual meeting in Bali, its general secretary Dato' Sri Azzuddin Ahmad said: "Both the PSSI and the FAT have the support of their respective governments and, as such, we at the AFF are supportive of this joint bid."

The exact mechanism of the bid process will be announced at a later date, the AFF said.

Pol Gen Somyot said yesterday: "It's true that we are considering a joint bid to host the 2034 World Cup with the PSSI.

"Although the standard of football stadiums in Thailand cannot be compared with those in Indonesia, I believe that when we officially make a joint bid we would get funds [from the government] to build stadiums that meet Fifa's standard."

The World Cup has been held in Asia only once in 2002 when it was co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.

However, Fifa was unhappy with the tournament taking place in two countries as the 2002 finals had several problems, including transportation.

The next World Cup in Asia will be staged in Qatar in 2022.

Thailand and Indonesia have never reached the World Cup finals.

Meanwhile, Somyot said Nualphan Lamsam will be the manager of the Thai women's national team at the Asian championship in Jordan in April next year.

The tournament is also the qualifying round for the 2019 Women's World Cup in France.

Thailand, with Nualphan as manager, secured a historic berth at the 2015 Women's World Cup.

"We want Nualphan to take Thailand to the Women's World Cup again," Somyot said.

However, Nualphan may have to leave the post after the tournament to be in line with the FAT's policy, Somyot said.

The FAT does not want managers for national sides of both genders at all levels.

"We have our officials to act as 'managers'," Somyot said.

Watanya Wongopasi recently quit as the men's U23 team manager although they won the SEA Games gold medal last month.

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