Football in Thailand

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Football in Thailand is organized by Football Association of Thailand (FAT).

Football is the most popular sport in Thailand.[1][2] Although the professional football leagues are new to Thai people, football was introduced to Thailand as far back as 1897. Many Thais also watch football on local and paid-cable TV. Many matches, especially those in the English FA Premier League can be watched free on local channels. Thai channels broadcast every match of the 2006 World Cup.

In 2007, Thailand co-hosted the Asian Cup 2007 with three other countries. This was the second time the event had been held in Thailand, the first being in 1972.


Football was introduced into Thailand in 1897. In 1916, King Vajiravudh founded "The Football Association of Thailand under Patronage of His Majesty the King." After that the association joined the FIFA in 1925 and AFC in 1957.

Thailand national football team joined Olympic Games first time in Australia in 1956

The first football stadium, Suphachalasai Stadium, was built in 1935. King's Cup, the first football cup was introduced in 1968. And then two years later, Queen's Cup, a national cup competition, started in 1970.

Thai football competitions[edit]

Leagues and tournaments[edit]

League competitions in Thailand include :



For promotion to Regional League Division 2 Bangkok & field Region:

  • Football Royal Cup - (Division 3 A) For the general teams.
    • Khǒr Royal Cup (Thai: ถ้วย ข.) - Division 3 - 1 A - The top two teams are promoted into Division 2.
    • Khor Royal Cup (Thai: ถ้วย ค.) - Division 3 - 2 A
    • Ngor Royal Cup (Thai: ถ้วย ง.) - Division 3 - 3 A

(See also: Thai football league system for the additional detail about league system.)

Domestic Cup competitions[edit]

International Cup competitions[edit]

  • King's Cup - an annual international football competition for national teams.
  • Queen's Cup - an annual international football cup competition for football club teams.

Other competitions[edit]


History of events in Thai football

Year Important Events
  • Thai Farmers Bank win the Asian Club Championship
  • Thai Farmers Bank win the Afro-Asian Championship
  • Thai Farmers Bank win the Asian Club Championship for the second time
  • The national team win the first ever ASEAN Football Championship
  • 1st professional league season starts, officially known as Johnnie Walker Thailand Soccer League
  • End of season playoffs used to determine the champion
  • The football structure is overhauled to include a new 2nd tier division, the Thailand Division 1 league. The Johnnie Walker Thailand Soccer League was therefore reduced to 12 member clubs
  • Relegation and promotion will be used for the first time between the top flight and 1st division
  • Promotion/Relegation playoffs were used for the 1st time
  • Caltex sponsors the top flight and renames the league Caltex Premier League
  • Rajamangala National Stadium is opened
  • The national team wins the ASEAN Football Championship for the 2nd time
  • The national team wins the King's Cup
  • The Caltex Premier League rebranded GSM Thai League after new sponsorship from Advanced Info Service
  • Promotion/Relegation playoff removed from the calendar
  • The national team wins the ASEAN Football Championship for the 3rd time
  • GSM Thai League reduced to 10 member clubs
  • With no sponsorship, the league is renamed as Thai League
  • The national team wins the King's Cup
  • The national team wins the T&T Cup in Vietnam
  • The Thai League rebranded as the Thailand Premier League
  • Thailand Premier League expanded to 12 member clubs
  • Thailand joint host the 2007 Asian Cup
  • The national team wins the King's Cup
  • Osotspa enter the AFC Cup, the first Thai team to enter the competition since it started in 2004
  • Thailand Premier League expanded to 16 member clubs
  • The national team win the T&T Cup in Vietnam for the 2nd time
  • Last ever Thailand Division 2 League in its current guise. To be reformed as the Regional League in 2009
  • Regional League is formed containing 5 divisions of 8 to 12 member clubs. Promotion and relegation to Thai Division 1 is formed
  • Thailand Premier League rebranded as Thai Premier League known locally as TPL
  • Thailand Division 1 League rebranded as TPL Division 1
  • FA Cup and Queen's Cup added back to the domestic calendar
  • Thailand lose automatic berth in the Asian Champions League
  • Super Cup is added to the football calendar, to be played in late December as a curtain raiser for the 2010 campaign
  • Red Bull sponsor the Thai Premier League and renamed locally as the Sponsor Thai Premier League
  • Regional League is expanded and features more clubs

Youth football[edit]

Youth football is very popular in Thailand, with several competitions and clubs being active. Bangkok Youth League provides the top level of youth football in Bangkok with a membership that includes teams from Thai Premiership Academies, such as BEC Tero and Chonburi Sharks, as well as local and International Academies such as iPlay Soccer Schools. It provides a structured, competitive environment for over 1000 players aged 6–16 years. Bangkok Soccer League is a youth football club organised for children attending international schools in Thailand and provides regular football for over 500 kids, both Thai and expat. 555

Thai notable players[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Murray, Leigh (2011-03-06). "Managing in Asia: Bryan Robson Brings His Game to Thailand Soccer -". Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  2. ^ "The rise and fall of Thai soccer - The Nation". 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 

External links[edit]