Monday 16 January 2023, 10:15

FIFA President meets Thai FA President and tours new futsal and match operation centre in Bangkok

  • Gianni Infantino meets the President of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT)

  • FIFA President reviewed ongoing work at Thailand’s newest football development facility

  • Mr Infantino praises development which is supported by FIFA Forward investment

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has taken part in a series of high-level meetings with senior officials from the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and toured a new football development facility during a visit to the Thai capital Bangkok. President Infantino began the day by meeting with his counterpart from the FAT, President Somyot Poompanmoung, in the FAT’s headquarters - a project funded by the FIFA Forward Programme - to discuss a wide range of other football development matters, in Thailand and across the wider continent of Asia. In January 2020, funds from FIFA’s COVID-19 Relief Plan helped support and restart the Thai League and President Infantino received a further update on country’s continued recovery from the disruption and distress brought by the pandemic. That was followed by a visit to the FA Thailand Futsal and Match Operation Center – a project fully funded by the FIFA Forward programme. Accompanied by Somyot Poompanmoung and FAT General Secretary Patit Supaphongs, President Infantino was given a full tour of the new facility, which is located in the Huamark district of Bangkok. FIFA Legends Tim Cahill and Houssine Kharja and FIFA Deputy Secretary General Football Mattias Grafström also took part in the visit.

President Infantino said: “It has been a wonderful experience to come here in person to see the magnificent football development work being carried out here in Thailand. It has been my commitment as FIFA President to ensure we play our part in making football truly global – and to witness the strong collaboration between FIFA Forward and the Football Association of Thailand here today gives me great pride and joy. “Once completed, I am sure it will benefit football players and fans of all ages, and I congratulate President Poompanmoung and General Secretary Supaphongs for overseeing this successful project.” As well as acting as the new home for futsal in Thailand – complete with full-size futsal pitch – the new hub also hosts the match operation centre, as well as the futsal, beach football and competitions departments. There is office space for up to 100 employees and additional facilities include a video assistant referee (VAR) room. With the building of the new centre, the FAT aims to develop the Thailand futsal national team, improve the standard of match operations and enhance the quality of futsal coaching and referee development.