Politics Is Seen As Interfering With Thailand’s Most Popular Sports

Two of the most popular sports, men’s football and women’s volleyball, are hot topics of politics at the same time that people who support and oppose Pita Limchareonrat and the Move Forward Party are closely watching whether he could be the 30th Prime Minister.

Pita did not attend the Women’s Volleyball National League 2023 match that Thailand lost to Japan on July 1 as he did on June 29 when he took photos with the team. Even though the pictures were similar to those shot with General Prawit Wongsuwan, Deputy Prime Minister, in July of last year, the reaction was different.

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General Prawit Wongsuwan and Pita Limchareonrat both had a photo taken with the Thai volleyball national team.

Conservatives, including well-known royalist Chulcherm Yugala, slammed a photograph of Ajcharaporn Kongyot flashing a three-finger salute, claiming that she and her teammate were too delighted to cheer for Pita and that they just used their might and not their brain. He even stated that she did not deserve to represent the country.

“It’s a personal right to like someone but it should be kept behind… I consider these people causing more division within Thai society,” the outspoken blueblood wrote on Facebook Friday.


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Chulcherm Yugala slammed a photograph of Ajcharaporn Kongyot flashing a three-finger salute without examining it.

Later that day, Chulcherm removed the post after learning that Ajcharaporn’s photo was taken at the match in Brazil on June 18 before Pita joined the frame with the athletes. In addition, the three-finger symbol represents a tactical communication to teammates.

The Volleyball Association also released a statement stating that the Association, its executive committee members, coaches, referees, athletes, and staff have never been involved in politics or sought political gains. Political beliefs are personal freedoms.

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Pita attended the Women’s Volleyball National League 2023 on June 29.

However, the outspoken blueblood later added, The Thai team’s signalling is different from other national teams, using thumbs up behind one’s own back. It’s not a thumbs up in front to be misunderstood.

This excuse suggests that if it had been General Prawit, female athletes would not have been targeted in this manner.

However, General Prawit is now being criticised on another issue: that politics interfere in Thai football after he asked Somyot Poompanmoung to resign as President of the Thai Football Association in response to Thailand’s failure to win the SEA Games 2023 gold medal and the humiliating incident in which Thailand team staff quarrelled with the Indonesian team.


“I don’t want the country’s reputation to be damaged as a result of one sports organisation. Other organisations are impacted as well since they must share responsibility. Everything is ruined since the TV is transmitted live across the world. This is significant. It’s not a small issue. 70 million Thais feel extremely humiliated,” said Gen. Prawit.

Somyot then announced his resignation on Saturday, despite the fact that he has not officially submitted his resignation letter since he must follow the protocols, which include notifying FIFA of the situation. However, Somyot stated directly that he resigned on the orders of General Prawit, who issued a clear call on Friday.

Somyot Poompanmoung to resign as President of the Thai Football Association.

This topic has sparked heated controversy among football fans, particularly in the case where FIFA previously banned Indonesia because of the government’s involvement. It was deemed to be in violation of FIFA Rules Articles 13 and 17, which declare that no country’s football organisation may be interfered with by politics. Although General Prawit is the president of the Thai Olympic Committee, he also serves as a deputy Prime Minister.

Natcha Boonchaiinsawat, Deputy Secretary-General of the Move Forward Party, urged General Prawit to correct the issue as soon as possible to avoid more damage. It must demonstrate that the process steps must not be interrupted or interfered with again by General Prawit.

Thailand lost to Indonesia in the SEA Games in May 2023.