From a sporting perspective she was right, but it was hard not to feel a little because of the Thai players given that this is the country’s only second appearance in the World Cup.
Thai TV presenter Peerapol “Champ” Euariyakul added: “I think there are a lot of players, they were ignored by the situation and they told me it pushed them more that next time, even when they have to lose, the margin” should be smaller. ”
And he was smaller. Thailand defeated Sweden 5-1 in the next match, but that unique goal gave the team and the country little hope.
“I think it has inspired many people to be able to do the impossible, the possible.” Euariyakul said. “I think when the Thais score that one goal, it’s a victory for the Thais.”
Nualphan Lamsam, who has been the team’s general manager during his last two appearances at the World Cup in Thailand, has been seen on television cameras crying after a goal has been scored.
“Those are tears of joy,” Lamsam told CNN Sport. “I am so proud of my team that I see everyone playing to their full potential under the pressure accumulated after the big loss from the first match with the United States.
“Winning and losing are not important. What is truly most important to us and what we are most proud of are the wonderful spirits of Thai footballers.”
The keys to future success
So, what’s next about women’s soccer in Thailand?
Both Euariyakul and Sornsai believe it all comes down to the home league. The family company Lamsam sponsors a league of new women, and its company also employs national team players.
The league is currently semi-professional, but at a time when equal pay prevails over titles in women’s sports, “Champ” says it goes much deeper than that in Thailand.
“The key to success is a professional league. If players don’t have a professional league, after the World Cup they have to go and get paid, which they don’t want to do.
“They want to play sports full time. And if our association says we need a professional league, I think we can go and we can compete more competitively.”
Sornsai agrees. She came to play in various youth leagues and schools, and has played with the national team since 2005, earning 115 caps.
“I hope that (Muang Thai League League) will become a professional league in the future,” Sornsai said.
“They have to set up women’s football academies to produce many talented players. Second, they have to set a higher standard in education, competition and organization. Finally, they have to invest more in institutions to improve and succeed in the future.
Lamsam believes her efforts during her eight years at the helm have not been to a large extent.
“I want to establish pride and let everyone know about our women’s soccer team in Thailand,” she said. “Although football is a popular sport in the world, it only applied to men’s games in Thailand.”
Euariyakul agrees and believes that women’s matches should be played before men’s matches in order to gather fans in the stands, and the league itself must be more visible.
“The most important thing is that we should promote and watch more women’s matches. We’re just broadcasting the World Cup, it’s like a bubble. It happens once every four years and I don’t think that’s enough. You need a strong conviction, like in England, you have to broadcast the game Every week. “
“We hope to be able to play in the World Cup again and then, of course, close the big gap between the best teams.”
CNN’s Amanda Davies contributed to this report.
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