The Kingdom of Thailand is home to brave and talented fighters across many sports in joker. However, there is no distinguishable team in Thailand other than its national men’s football team. Thailand has its own fair share of ups and downs throughout its history, making it not only the bravest but also the most resilient sports team in Thailand.
The Thailand national men’s football team is officially called Futbon Thim Chat Thai in their native language. The side is also known colloquially as Changsuek or The War Elephants in English.
The team represents the kingdom in all international football tournaments and is managed by the Football Association of Thailand, the sporting body that presides over football activities in the country.
The War Elephants have prevailed in most Southeast Asian football competitions but were unable to break through in the whole Asian continent. However, despite the struggles, the side has won five ARR Championship titles and is regarded as the most successful sports team in Southeast Asia.
The team was first established in 1915 and were known before as Siam National Football Team. The side first played its football match albeit unofficial in December of 1915 against a squad of Europeans.
King Vajravudh founded the Football Association of Siam in April 1916 which was then recognized by FIFA in 1925, the very first one in the whole Asian region. The team played its first overseas match in 1930 against the Indochina team.
Ever since the establishment of the Thai football team, the sport has grown in popularity in Slotxo along with sepak takraw and muay thai.
1998 – The Tiger Cup Scandal
Perhaps, the most controversial event in Asian football history is the 1998 Tiger Cup Scandal.
During the group stage match, both Indonesia and Thailand knew that winning the match would mean battling hosts Vietnam, while losing meant playing with the underdogs Singapore. They also knew that the winner would face the inconvenience of transferring their training bases from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi, which both teams dislike.
In the first half, both teams seemed to be phoning it in, neither of the teams seemed to want to score. During the extra time, an Indonesian defender intentionally kicked the ball on his own team’s goal despite the preventive attempt of a Thai attacker. Both teams paid the $40,000 for disregarding the spirit of the game, while the Indonesian player who kicked the ball was banned for life.
2000 AFC Asian Cup
The team qualified to the 2000 AFC Cup along with Lebanon, Iraq and Iran. However, the team lost to Iraq and they were performing inadequately during the season. The team was placed third place until they were eliminated due to an unsuccessful attempt to win a match.
2004 AFC Asian Cup
During the season, Thailand were placed in a ‘death squad’ composed of them, Iran, Japan and first-timer Oman. Despite the experiences that Thailand had in international matches, they were shamefully defeated by newcomer Oman. The whole performance of The War Elephants in the season was a trainwreck and they returned home with only one goal scored.
2007 AFC Asian Cup
In 2007 AFC Asian Cup, they came back with vengeance and was considered as a strong contender during the season. Unlike the previous season, Thailand had become more prepared and were the dominant Southeast Asian team at that time.
They took their revenge against Oman but eventually lost to newcomer Australia. This marked the end of the golden generation and sought the retirement of several known players.
2014 to Present
2014 AFF Championship
Thailand became champions of the 2014 AFF Championship, they managed to pull-off a tiki-taka style during the final match against Malaysia.
2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
The War Elephants dominated their Southeast Asian neighbors and have won the AFF Suzuki Cup. The team also managed to secure their spot in the World Cup tournament.
Thailand’s most proficient striker, Teerasil Dangda managed to score a lot for the national team during his era before being loaned to Spanish club Almeria. Thailand were unbeatable when Teerasil was on the team and he is considered as Thailand’s finest and was a favorite among punters in Solarbet.
2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
Thailand is now ushering a new era under the management of Japanese coach, Akira Nishino. After winning several Asian Cup titles and their performance under Nishino, the Thai national team has garnered support for their campaign to land in the World Cup qualifiers.
The Thai national football team has experienced ups and downs since their establishment in 1915. What’s fascinating is that despite their challenges, they still managed to be brave, impactful and resilient.