The scene in Thai football following the death of King Bhumibol
Following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, all domestic competitive football matches have been halted in Thailand as a sign of respect.
Although the Thai government has suspended football competitions in the country for only one month, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has decided to end the Thai Premier League and the lower divisions, as well as the FA Cup and League Cup.
As a result of the decision, Muangthong United have been named champions ahead of Bangkok United
As a result of the decision, the current standings are considered the final table, with Muangthong United named champions ahead of Bangkok United, Bangkok Glass and defending champions Buriram United.
Muangthong finished on 80 points from 31 matches, five points ahead of Bangkok United, with a significant gap back to Bangkok Glass (57 points) in third.
At this stage, the proposed World Cup qualifier between Thailand and Australia scheduled for Bangkok on November 15 will go ahead as planned.
There was speculation the match would be moved, with Singapore mooted as a potential location.
The FAT’s decision also means Muangthong have secured a league and cup double. They will share the Thai League Cup title with Buriram as both teams had qualified for the final.
The result also means as it currently stands, Army United, Chainat Hornbill and BBCU have been relegated.
Army United – the team Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny represents – have not accepted the decision, however, revealing they will appeal to FAT, while Chainat vice-president Anurut Nakasai is expected to appeal the decision to FIFA.
The Thai FA Cup was at the semi-final stage so it was announced there would be a lucky draw to determine the winner between Ratchaburi, Sukhothai, Chainat and Chonburi, although the latter has withdrawn from the running.
Chonburi have also disagreed with the FAT’s decisions, stating their belief all teams should have a right to compete until the final match.
That echoed the thoughts of most Thai football fans, who wanted the domestic competitions to continue after a 30-day period of mourning.
The death of the beloved King, whose reign lasted for 70 years, has had a profound impact on the entire Thai population.