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Thai Premier League 2010


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Here's a thread I'll update once in a while, for any footy geeks who'd like to know more about an obscure league.

The Thai Premier League (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_Premier_League) has a pretty low standard. Picture the worst USL teams on bad days and that's probably close. Lots of mistakes, awful officiating, an insurgence of African designated players no one's heard of...it all makes for some unpredictable results and if you have the patience, an interesting experience. Tickets for decent seats also run me a whopping 2 bucks (3 for a cup game) so I can't complain.

The Thai Premiere league has seen a resurgence starting from last season, when some big sponsors stepped up to instill more professionalism throughout. Thai league attendance figures are on the rise, though EPL remains by far the most passionately followed football in Thailand.

I attended the Thai equivalent to England's Community Shield on Feb. 20th, a preseason clash between last season's Premier league winners Muang Thong United and FA Cup winners Thai Port FC. I sat in the neutral section between both supporters groups who were out in force boozing and singing. MTUTD also had some decent tifo on display.


A bit about these teams. Muang Thong United is a very well supported team by Thai standards. The club hails from Nonthaburi province which neighbours Bangkok. They are the reigning Thai Premier League champions, and their owners have cash. Muang Thong is in the process of expanding their 5k seat stadium to a 20k SSS.

Thai Port FC are a succesful Thai club based in central Bangkok (Khlong Toei district) and formed in 1967. Their full name in English is Port Authority of Thailand Football Club, dating back to the days when clubs were supported by government offices and branches of the military. Thai Port are well supported and known for their rowdy fans, being fined 30,000 baht (1,000 CAD approx) by the FA for throwing bottles onto the pitch in a 2009 league clash with Chonburi. Last season they moved into their new PAT stadium, which was recently expanded to seat 6k.


In the first half both teams looked every bit the rusty preseason squads they were. Thai Port created some decent scoring chances as they passed through MTUTD's midfield with ease, only to be stopped by some inspired last ditch defending. MTUTD were unable to put together passes but looked dangerous from set pieces, with two goals from corner kicks called back for infractions in the box.

The second half was all MTUTD, putting on a brilliant on the deck one touch passing display. MTUTD's attacking duo from the Ivory Coast Mohamed Kone and Siaka Dagno were the difference, consistently beating their markers down the wings to create chances, and it was Kone who scored the opener in the 66th minute. Dagno doubled MTUTD's lead on the 80th minute mark, with Thai Port barely threatening, when Thai Port fans lost the plot.

Thai Port FC supporters started firing roman candles onto the pitch and throwing flares, causing the refs to abandon the match. They then smashed through the crowd barriers and attacked the MTUTD fans, who for the most part wanted nothing to do with it. The cops stood by hopelessly undermanned and unwilling to get involved as the Thai Port fans trashed the Thai version of Wembley, tearing up seats and ripping up ad boards for makeshift weapons. Eventually the bulk of MTUTD fans left the stadium so a major clash between the groups was avoided.


Unfortunately the Kor Royal Cup, which has been awarded to a national champion since 1916, could not be presented as the ruckus derailed the awards ceremony that should have followed the match. These two teams finished 1 and 2 in the Premier league last season, so it'll be interesting to see how this effects their already heated rivalry.

My friend's digi cam video of some misbehaving:

AFC's blurb about the incident: http://www.the-afc.com/en/afc-cup-2010/27149-crowd-trouble-mars-kor-royal-cup

2010 season starts in March and wraps up in October.

More to come...

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