Fans will be allowed to cheer during Thailand’s Nov 15 World Cup qualifier against Australia at Rajamangala National Stadium, after the government eased strict mourning rules in place since the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
There has been great uncertainty surrounding the qualifier since the King’s Oct 13 death plunged the country into a period of deep mourning.
Sports events, concerts and even televised soap operas have been cancelled, with bars and nightclubs closing early and avoiding loud music.
The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) agreed to host the game as planned but had ordered fans to stay muted in keeping with a sombre national mood. In all honesty, an impossible scenario.
However, on Wednesday the FAT relaxed the rules following guidance from the government, which said entertainment activities can resume as normal after a 30-day mourning period.
Once again, the government has shown that it understands that life in the Kingdom needs to carry on as normal to aid in people coming to terms with the King’s passing.
“Football fans who attend the match can use cheering equipment, show symbols and cheer,” FAT deputy general secretary Patit Suphaphongs wrote in a Facebook post.
Thailand’s fans are renowned for using horns, drums and boom sticks in well-choreographed shows of support for the national team. Also, the team needs as much vocal support as possible in what will be a very difficult game for them.
Australia are currently second in Group B of final Asian qualifying for a place at Russia 2018, while Thailand are desperate for a win after failing to earn a point after four games.