Countdown to World Cup – No countdown for Thailand

Thailand’s national broadcasting commission, the NBTC, has skilfully passed the blame for the impending World Cup fiasco to the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

With only 15 days to go, if you don’t want to miss a second of the 2022 FIFA World Cup it’s probably best to leave the country or sign up for cable.

Trairat Viriyasirikul, acting secretary-general of the NBTC, pleaded ignorance and innocence yesterday, putting the blame for the fiasco firmly at the feet of the SAT.

He said if appropriate budget documents are not presented to the NBTC by Wednesday, the commission will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the broadcasting rights for the event that starts on November 20.

Countdown to World Cup – No countdown for Thailand | News by Thaiger
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan promised football fans in Thailand that they could watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar for free.

Last week, ever-reliable Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan wrongly confirmed that football fans in Thailand could watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar for free.

Qatar was awarded the World Cup on December 2, 2010. According to google that was 622 weeks and two days ago. How did we arrive at this situation with only two weeks left?

Football fans in Thailand are quite rightly angry that so-called governing bodies have run down the clock to this extent. They have had more than 10 years to sort this out. Presumably “financial conditions” did not meet the demands of those who expect to benefit from the screening of the event.

Trairat said the NBTC is only the provider of the budget for the broadcasting rights and therefore not to blame for anything. Negotiations are up to the SAT.

SAT governor Kongsak Yodmanee, however, has kicked the ball back into the NTCB half, and with it, the blame.

At an NBTC board meeting on October 28, Sarana Boonbaichaiyapruck, chairman of the board, proposed drawing 1.6 billion baht (US$43 million) from the NBTC’s research and development fund to buy the broadcasting rights.

Kongsak said that after budget approval, SAT and the NBTC would need to sign an MoU and arrangements would be settled before the tournament begins.

Local fans are furious that no broadcasters in Thailand have sufficient interest in airing the matches, possibly a result of FIFA’s demand for a billion baht, a lot of money for a developing country which has never participated in a World Cup beyond the qualifying stages.

Countdown to World Cup – No countdown for Thailand | News by Thaiger
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held from November 20 until December 18. France won’t win,



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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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