Southeast Asia Thailand

Thai Football Mourns the Death of Referee Nuanchan

Last weekend’s Thai League action had a somber tone to it as games in both the top-flight and the second tier were overshadowed the death of referee Titichai Nuanchan, who died in a car accident last Friday after overseeing a Thai League 1 match between Nongbua Pitchaya and Ratchaburi FC.

43-year old Nuanchan was a Football Association of Thailand-registered referee with plenty of experience underneath his belt, refereeing games in not only the Thai League but also the V.League 1 of Vietnam as well as the AFF Championship. He was one of the few referees in Thailand who was eligible to preside over international matches, working under FIFA from 2012 to 2018 with his last international match being as a fourth official underneath Qatari referee Khamis Al-Marri in Vietnam’s 0-0 draw away at Myanmar in the 2018 AFF Championship group stages.

Nuanchan was appointed as a first-class referee for this season’s Thai League 1 and his final match on Friday saw him officiate Nongbua hosting early pace-setters Ratchaburi at the Pitchaya Stadium in Nong Bua Lamphu Province. Ratchaburi won the match 2-0 thanks to goals from Derley and Alvin Fortes, ensuring that the Dragons were one of the only two sides in this season’s Thai League 1 to have won all four of their opening four matches.

Tragedy struck after the match, however, with Nuanchan being involved in an accident that saw his car going off a bend in a poorly-lit road. The referee was heading home from Pitchaya Stadium to his native Kalasin Province when the accident occurred.

Nuanchan was evacuated from the wreckage and was rushed to Nong Bua Hospital, however his injuries were too severe and he died at 10pm on Friday night.

To commemorate the well-respected referee, the Thai League held a minute’s silence for Nuanchan before every Thai League 1 and Thai League 2 matches played last Saturday and Sunday.

Everyone at Football Tribe Asia would like to extend their condolences for Nuanchan and his family, may he rest in peace.