Football Association of Thailand in trouble, 'needs to borrow money'

Football Association of Thailand in trouble, 'needs to borrow money'

Football Association of Thailand chief Somyot
Football Association of Thailand chief Somyot

Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang has admitted it has become vital for the national sport body to borrow money to ride out its liquidity crisis.

The national football governing body has been hit hard by several financial setbacks in the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Refusal by current TV rights holder, TrueVisions, to televise domestic league games after its Oct 25 contractual obligation, Toyota's decision to pull out of its sponsorship deal for the Thai League Cup and a lack of support for the Thai League 3 clubs have left the FAT mired in myriad cashflow problems.

After a meeting of the FAT executive board, Somyot said he is expecting to raise the needed cash by borrowing money from "the world governing body Fifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Asean Football Federation (AFF) and other sources in the country.

"To keep Thai football moving forward, the FAT needs money.

"The local competitions are set to get underway soon and it is not possible for us to generate money through sponsorship and other such means in such a short time.

"The board has approved to take loans from sources both in and outside the country and we are looking for six-month to one-year interest free loans.

"We will also need cash at hand to help Thailand national team prepare for international tournaments.

"I believe we have a very good relationship with Fifa and the AFC, which gives me the confidence that we will be able to get the needed money."

Somyot admitted that paucity of funds would affect the staging of Thai League 1 matches and the FAT would not use the VAR technology in the remaining games of the current season.

Footballing activities in the country were halted in March this year due to a Covid-19 outbreak. The domestic leagues are set to restart on Sept 12.

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