THAILAND NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
WORLD RANKING: 106
MOST CAPPED PLAYER:-
Kiatisuk Senamuang (134 caps)
Kiatisuk Senamuang (71 goals)
Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok
The Thailand national football team represents Thailand in senior international football and is controlled by the Football Association of Thailand.
In the regional competition, Thailand is the most successful football team in Southeast Asia with five AFF Championship trophies and nine senior-level gold medals of Southeast Asian Games, the most of any Southeast Asian country.
In higher levels, Thailand achieved third place in the 1972 AFC Asian Cup where it was the host and has a total of seven appearances in the AFC Asian Cup so far.
Furthermore, the team reached the fourth-place in the 1990 and 1998 Asian Games and participated Summer Olympics twice.
However, Thailand has failed to obtain higher achievements in continental and global records.
The team obtained its first-ever win in the AFC Asian Cup in 2007 and had to wait 47 years to finally sneak out of the group stage in 2019.
Thailand also advanced to the final round of FIFA World Cup qualification twice, in 2002 and 2018, but failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
Football in Thailand
Football in Thailand is organized by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT).
Football is the most popular sport in Thailand. Although the professional football leagues are new to Thai people, football was introduced to Thailand as far back as 1897.
Many Thais also watch football on local and paid cable TV. Many matches, especially those in the English FA Premier League can be watched free on local channels. Thai channels broadcasted every match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
In 2007, Thailand co-hosted the Asian Cup 2007 with three other countries. This was the second time the event had been held in Thailand, the first being in 1972.
Thai football league system
Level 1 – Thai League 1
The Thai League 1, often referred to as T1, is the top level of the Thai football league system.
Contested by 16 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Thai League 2. Seasons run from February to October, with each team playing 30 games (playing all 15 other teams both home and away).
It is sponsored by Toyota and therefore officially known as the Toyota Thai League. In the Thai League, most of the games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Level 2 – Thai League 2
Thai League 2, commonly known as the T2, formally called Thai Division 1 League, is the second-tier professional league in the Thai football league system.
The top 3 are promoted to Thai League 1 at the end of the season, whilst four are relegated to Thai League 3.
For the 2008 season, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) reduced the number of teams in the league to 16 teams.
Previously, there had been two groups of 12 clubs. For the 2011 season, the number of teams was increased to 18 teams, The Thai Division 1 League is a season run from March to October, with teams playing 34 games each totalling 306 games in the season.
In 2016, the Khǒr Royal Cup became a trophy for the Thai Division 1 League.
In 2017, the Football Association of Thailand changed the name to Thai League 2. It is sponsored by Osotspa M-150 and therefore officially known as the Thai League 2 M-150 Championship.
Level 3 – Thai League 3
Thai League 3 or Thailand Regional Championship, commonly known as the T3, is the Third level of Thai football.
It was started in 2017. Since 2017, the League has been divided into 2 regions with 32 clubs – The 1st-4th positioned clubs from 8 regions that are former members of Regional League Division 2 and debutants in the season.
Level 4 – Thailand Amateur League
Thailand Amateur League, commonly known as the TA, is the fourth level of Thai football organised by Thai League Co., Ltd.
It was started in 2017 by an idea from Police General Somyot Poompanmoung, the president of the Football Association of Thailand for improving all Thai Amateur clubs to be better and allowing other clubs which are in other regions chances to play in a national FA tournament.
Since 2017, the tournament has been divided into 12 regions and participated by 119 clubs which are former members of Football Division 3, and debutants in the season.
As the tournament is considered as the lowest level of Thai football, the number of participants is unlimited as well. Any club is able to send an application to participate in the tournament.
In 2016, the Football Division 3 became a trophy for the Thailand Amateur League.
Levels 1-4 – Thai FA Cup
The Thai FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association of Thailand Cup, is a football cup competition in Thailand.
Thai FA Cup is an annual knockout association football competition in men’s domestic football. It was held between 1980 and 2001 and relaunched in 2009. Bangkok Bank won the first two editions.
In 2009 it was announced that the Thai FA Cup would return to the Thai football calendar. All the teams from the Thai League 1 and Division 1 League were automatically entered and teams from the Division 2 League as well as university and schools teams could apply to enter.
The qualifying round takes place first. The first round proper sees sixteen qualifiers progress to the second round where they each meet a Division 1 side.
The sixteen TPL teams enter the third round stage. The final is played at National Stadium with the winning team receiving 1,000,000 Thai baht. The runners-up receive 500,000 Thai baht.
Levels 1-3 – Thai League Cup
The League Cup is a football cup competition in Thailand. It is also known as Toyota League Cup for sponsorship reasons.
It was re-formed during the 2010 domestic football league season in Thailand and runs along the same lines as the Thai FA Cup except that the earlier rounds would be regional rather than an open draw.
Thailand Champions Cup
The Thailand Champions Cup (continuing Kor Royal Cup, a different competition from the Thai Super Cup) is a single-game competition between the winners of previous Thai League 1 and Thai FA Cup, organised by the Football Association of Thailand.
The first edition started in 2017 in order to replace the Kor Royal Cup.