Thursday 21 September 2023, 09:00

FIFA President hails Thailand's passion for football in meeting with Prime Minister

  • Gianni Infantino and Thai PM Srettha Thavisin discuss the beautiful game in New York

  • Mr Thavisin restates country’s willingness to co-host FIFA World Cup 2034™️

  • Thailand will stage 74th FIFA Congress on Friday, 17 May 2024

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has praised Thailand's passion for football in talks with the south-east Asian country's Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. Their neighbours, Indonesia, will become the first nation from south-east Asia to host a FIFA tournament when the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023™️ kicks off in November, but Thailand is certainly no stranger to staging football competitions. The annual King's Cup was recently contested for the 49th time with India, Iraq, Lebanon and the hosts competing for the trophy, while the Thailand International Youth Cup - held three times every year - welcomes youngsters from across the region to compete against each other in various categories.

During their discussion, Mr Thavisin thanked the FIFA President for expanding the FIFA World Cup™️ to 48 teams, thereby giving Thailand additional opportunities to qualify, and he reiterated his country’s readiness to co-host the FIFA World Cup 2034™️ in partnership with Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) partners. "The passion for football in Thailand is extraordinary, even the Prime Minister himself is a big fan of the beautiful game, and we have promised we will meet again on as well as off the pitch in the future," said the FIFA President after the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly proceedings in New York. "The upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for the development of the game in Thailand and right across the south-east Asia region, and will help to take that passion to the next level." Thailand has recently played an important role for FIFA in helping to support football development in the region. The latest FIFA Technical Leadership Introductory Course was held in the country in August, giving 19 new Technical Directors the opportunity to benefit from FIFA know-how and best practice.

Also in August, the northern city of Chiang Mai was the setting for a FIFA presentation to senior officials from ASEAN with whom FIFA signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding in November 2019. The country will also serve as the focal point for the global football community when it stages the 74th FIFA Congress in its capital, Bangkok, on Friday, 17 May 2024, becoming the first south-east Asian nation to host the event. "Thailand have proven themselves excellent hosts as well as willing participants and keen students in pushing the game forward both on and off the pitch," concluded the FIFA President. "I would like to thank Prime Minister Thavisin for the support he has shown FIFA and football. I am very much looking forward to building on the fruitful collaboration we have established, and to coming to Thailand for the FIFA Congress next year."