World Cup qualifier may move to Chiang Mai (29/10/2011)



With Bangkok braced for its worst flooding in years, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) is considering moving next month's World Cup qualifier against group leaders Australia to Chiang Mai.

Thailand, currently lying in second spot with four points from three matches, will resume their qualifying campaign away to thirdplaced Saudi Arabia on November 11 before hosting the Socceroos, who top Group D with a perfect record, four days later.

The Australia fixture was originally destined for Rajamangala National stadium but reports that the floodwaters could linger in the capital for as long as a month have prompted the FAT to draw up a contingency plan.

"So far, we've heard nothing from the AFC [Asian Football Confederation]. However, we have already set up a plan for the worstcase scenario. Rajamangala and Supachalasai stadiums are currently being used as evacuation shelters. I'm not sure whether either of them could host the game, so we have contacted Chiang Mai to prepare in case we have to move the match there," said Ongart Kohsinkha, FAT general secretary.

Ongart added that Chiang Mai was the preferred venue as Nakhon Ratchasima has no international airport, while the Surakul stadium in Phuket did not meet standards.

Source : http://www.nationmultimedia.com/sports/W-Cup-qualifier-may-move-to-Chiang-Mai-30168776.html