Members of the Wild Boars team with their coach.
PHOTO BY ASIAN CUP
DUBAI – Three boys who survived 18 days in a flooded Thailand cave last year have been invited to the UAE as guests of honor for the Asian Cup.
The boys and their coach were part of the 13-strong Wild Boars team who were trapped in the Chiang Rai Province caves in July. Their dramatic rescue became the focus of worldwide media attention.
The four will watch Thailand taken on India on Sunday (January 6) in their opening game in Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan Stadium at 5:30pm.
The boys and their coach will have VIP access and behind the scenes look at the team’s pre-match preparations as well as their clash in the qualifiers.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said bringing a part of the Wild Boars is an “opportunity to continue this remarkable fairy-tale” of their perseverance to overcome all challenges.
“I am confident that the presence of the Wild Boars Academy players will make for an even more memorable tournament and will inspire them to continue their incredible footballing journey,” Al Khalifa said.
The invitation is part of AFC’s two-year support programme to the Wild Boars, which will see the club receive technical support as well as training equipment and 100 Molten match balls a year.
The 51-match Asian Cup games begin on Saturday (January 5) and end on February 1 with the final in Zayed Sports City. Matches will be played in eight venues across Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. GAD/Expat Media
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