Suzuki Cup tournament could be moved from Bangkok to Phuket due to political chaos (November 29, 2008)

The AFF Suzuki Cup is likely to be moved from Bangkok to Phuket due to the current political problems, Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Worawi Makudi said yesterday.

The Asean championship will be co-hosted by Thailand and Indonesia next month with the Thailand leg scheduled to kick off in Bangkok on December 6.

Thailand team are in Group B along with Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos, and the Malaysians have reportedly threatened to pull out of the tournament and called for the Thailand event to be moved to Malaysia.

Worawi, who is in Malaysia for talks with that country's football authorities and the Asean Football Federation (AFF), admitted that the political turmoil affected the tournament.

He said he had told the AFF that Phuket would be a good choice if the tournament could not be held in Bangkok.

"Phuket is not affected by the political situation," he said. "Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos can fly directly to Phuket International Airport."

Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports have been seized by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD).

Worawi said he had sent officials to inspect the stadium, facilities and hotels in Phuket and they found they were 80% ready for the tournament.

Phuket's Surakul stadium, which was used for the Fifa Women's Under-19 Championship, has been approved by Fifa, he said.