Thailand national team to get big bonus from billionaire manager

By Thanh Quy   November 15, 2023 | 11:34 pm PT
Nualphan Lamsam, also known as Madam Pang, has promised to award each player of the Thailand national football team 1 million baht (US$28,153) for each point they earn in the second round World Cup qualifiers.
Thailand national football team manager Nualphan Lamsam during a football match. Photo courtesy of Nualphan Lamsam

Thailand national football team manager Nualphan Lamsam during a football match. Photo courtesy of Nualphan Lamsam

Madam Pang went to a training center on Wednesday to support the team ahead of two matches in World Cup qualifiers against China on Thursday and Singapore five days later. She promised to award 1 million baht to each player for each point the team win. If the team advance to the third qualifying round, she will give each player an additional bonus of 10 million baht, she said.

"I hope I get to award 6 million baht for each player after the first two games, because I want six points," Lamsam told Thai media.

The manager of the Thailand national football team believes that the players clearly understand their duties and responsibilities with the country. She also appreciates the atmosphere and spirit of the team.

Lamsam stressed the importance of the opening match against China and called on fans to go to Rajamangala Stadium to support the team.

"The first two matches are very important, especially the match against China," Lamsam added. "We can't lose. Hopefully we can use the home advantage and gain more confidence in the next matches."

Thailand called up 26 players for the match against China. If they win six points in the first two matches, they will share the bonus of 156 million baht ($4.4 million).

Thailand are in group C with China, Singapore and South Korea.

In the second World Cup qualification round, teams play in a double round robin format. The top two teams will win slots in the third qualifying round and a spot at the 2027 Asian Cup.

From 2019-2021, Thailand only earned nine points in the second qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup. At that time, they were in group G with UAE, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Only UAE (18 points) and Vietnam (17 points) advanced to the third round.

Madam Pang, 57, is a businessman, politician and billionaire. She is the fifth generation Lamsam, one of Thailand’s wealthiest families.

In 2008, she became the manager of Thai women's football and helped the team qualify for the World Cup in 2015 and 2019. In 2015, she became the chairwoman of Port FC and was appointed the manager of the Thailand men’s national team and U23 team in 2021.

After seeing Vietnam dominate Southeast Asia football for a few years, Thailand returned with two consecutive AFF Cup titles in 2021 and 2022.

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