Friday, November 28, 2008


Time to move

Thai authorities have promised to take action to clear the international airport of protesters over the next few hours but in the meantime have announced it will stay closed till at least 6pm on Saturday which sounds optimistic.

The PM has ordered police, navy and air force personnel to be ready to move in, no mention of the army.

It is apparent the Thai government is not fully in control at the moment and hosting a major football competition is the least of its concerns.

Emptying the airport of thousands of protesters, clearing the roads of their supporters, is going to be a major undertaking and the government has till now shyed away from major undertakings leaving the protesters on the front foot all the time.

With an unreliable army, with thousands of disaffected protesters, probably in need of new yellow t shirts, roaming the streets, with an unreliable army, the government cannot guarantee the AFF Cup can pass peacefully.

It cannot guarantee players, officials and fans can arrive into Bangkok. It cannot guarantee safe passage from the airport to hotels and it cannot guarantee the matches will pass without incident.

Both the organisers and the ASEAN Football Federation need to act quickly (ASEAN and acting quickly!!) and relocate the group stage. Possibly to KL. Possibly Jakarta.

But action needs to be taken quickly to avoid the games developing into a farce and a security risk.

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