Southeast Asia Thailand

Thailand Seek Alternative Venues for AFC U23 Championships

The Thai FA are seeking an alternative venue for the AFC U23 Championships in January 2020, after it was announced that the 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiangmai will not be ready in time to host the competition.

Originally, the four planned venues to host the tournament were the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, the Thammasat Stadium in Pathum Thani, the Tisulanon Stadium in Songkhla and the aforementioned 700th Anniversary Stadium.

It has been reported that the FA are now considering three new stadiums to host the competition – Bangkok Glass’s Leo Stadium and Muangthong United’s SCG Stadium in Greater Bangkok, as well as Buriram United’s Chang Arena.

All three stadia are purpose-built football stadiums managed by top local teams, meaning that they will not require any renovations ahead of the tournament.

This announcement has caused outrage among many supporters of the Thai domestic football league, as the renovations forced the relocation of top-tier side Chiangmai FC and second division outfit JL Chiangmai United. It now appears that their moves would have served no purpose, while effectively handicapping two teams and robbing fans of a team to support for the business end of the Thai League season.

The venue will need to be confirmed soon, as the draw for the tournament is set to take place on the 26th of September.