6 June 2024

Nualphan Lamsam, manager of the Thai national football team, said today (Sunday) that she had been approached to assume the presidency of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT), but her family rejected the offer fearing that she will be overburdened with work.

Nualphan, also chair of Port FC, admitted that the Thai football teams, including national teams and teams in League 2 and League 3, are in critical condition, noting that League teams are important because their footballers are often selected to play in the national teams.

She disclosed that representatives of League 1-3 teams are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, to discuss the issue of live broadcast concessions for League matches for the new season, which are yet to be concluded.

The main problem encountered by all the football teams in Leagues 1-3 is a shortage of funding for football club management and to pay their footballers. Revenues from ticket sales account for just a fraction of the amount needed. The main revenues derive from live broadcast fees. With the new League season to kick off in about a month, however, an open bid for the live broadcast concession has not been held yet, while there is widespread concern that the revenues from the rights may drop.

Asked whether the decision by Somyot Poompanmuang to stay on as FAT president further exacerbates the situation, Nualphan sidestepped the question, by saying that the League teams will continue to be in trouble, particularly League 2 and 3 teams.

Somyot announced his resignation as FAT president a week ago, after he was told by General Prawit Wongsuwan, the Thai Olympic chief, to take responsibility for the failure of the U22 team football team’s defeat by Indonesia in the final of the 2023 SEA Games.

Somyot later blamed political interference and withdrew his resignation. The FAT board also rejected his resignation, fearing that it may affect Thailand’s hosting of the FIFA Congress next year.