Thailand players to feast on free burgers

BANGKOK - Thailand's top players will feast on free burgers as part of a three-year sponsorship deal with American fast food giant McDonald's worth almost $900,000, the country's football president said on Wednesday.

McDonald's will provide 25 million baht ($747,000) for the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) and will offer five million baht in products in exchange for shirt sponsorship for the next three years, starting this month.

"This will be a great help towards our efforts to reach the 2014 World Cup finals," FAT president Worawi Makudi told Reuters.

"This funding will help develop our game, especially youth football, and all the players, junior and senior, will get to enjoy the food too," he added.

Thailand's national team, which is currently 110th in the FIFA rankings, signed a five-year kit sponsorship deal with U.S. sports giant Nike in 2007 for an undisclosed figure.

The team has never qualified for the World Cup finals and is now being coached by former England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson.