Southeast Asia Thailand

Port Crush Ratchaburi in Madame Pang’s Last Hurrah

Port FC’s 3-0 dismantling of Ratchaburi FC in Christmas Day’s Thai League action may seem like another routine victory for the Lions of Khlong Toei, however it has a much more significant meaning as it was the final match of Nualphan Lamsan as the club’s chairwoman after eight years.

Monday’s match at the PAT Stadium was the final match of Port’s first half of the season and indeed the Lions of Khlong Toei’s final match of 2023. Rangsan Viwatchaichok’s charges were 2nd in the league and had won their last two games on the bounce as 12th placed Ratchaburi came knocking, and as expected Port made short work of their opposition, with goals from Noboru Shimura, Worachit Kanitsribampen, and Teerasak Poeiphimai further cemented Port’s position as leaders’  True Bangkok United’s closest challengers at the halfway point of the season. A red card for Mehdi Terki meant that Ratchaburi had to finish the match with just 10 men.

However, the match wasn’t the biggest talking point of the day.

Indeed, the focus was on Nualphan, affectionately known as “Madame Pang.” After eight years as the head honcho of Port – which saw her overturning the club’s fortunes from relegation fodders to title challengers – Nualphan is set to step down from her position following her candidacy for the upcoming Football Association of Thailand (FAT) presidential elections.

With incumbent president Somyot Poompanmoung stepping down from his position, Nualphan will contest the upcoming presidential elections with her opponents being former Thai League secretary Warong Thriutas, Thanasak Suprasert, who was the current vice-president of the FAT, former player Surachai Niwatphan, football journalist Khomkit Napalai, and Pauline Ngampring, the founder of the Thai Power supporters group for the Thailand national team.

With backing from both Newin Chidchob, the influential owner of Buriram United, as well as Somyot himself, coupled with her experience as being the manager of the Thailand national team, Nualphan has been earmarked as the heavy favorite of succeeding Somyot as the president of the FAT.