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Thailand Bet 330 Million Won On Victory In Korean Game 10x Scores Appear Amid Sold Out 50,000 Seats

Thailand, where soccer fever is high, is a country where English Premier League (EPL) is enjoying explosive popularity. Thai TV even has channels for different EPL teams such as Liverpool and Tottenham.

Thousands of fans cheered on the streets in downtown Bangkok when Leicester City, the owner of Thailand’s largest duty-free shop “King Power International,” won the 2015-2016 EPL by surprise in the 2015-2016 season. After Wichai died in a crash while watching an EPL game at his home stadium in 2018 and moving by helicopter, his son Aiyawat is the owner.

In July 2022, at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, 50,000 spectators watched, and EPL rivals Liverpool and Manchester United played a friendly match under the name of the “Bangkok Century Cup.”

Since it is Thailand, Son Heung-min (32, Tottenham), a former EPL top scorer, has a high status. When Son Heung-min entered Thailand on the 22nd, numerous Thai fans came to the Suvarnabhumi Airport’s arrival hall and greeted him with enthusiastic cheers.

Thailand’s old fans still remember the 2-1 victory over Korea in the quarterfinals of the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games at Rajamangala Stadium and tend to quietly ignore Korean soccer, but young fans are enthusiastic about Son Heung-min, who has built the pride of Asian soccer.

At 9:30 p.m. on the 26th (Korea time), the second round of the Asian qualifying round for the 2026 North-Central America World Cup at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok has already sold out about 50,000 tickets due to the Thai fans’ expectations for their home team and Son Heung-min’s popularity. As tickets are sold out, the cheapest 165 baht (about 6,000 won) in the ticket market is trading at 1,500 baht, nearly 10 times cheaper.

Thailand’s soccer fever intensified after the team tied with South Korea one-on-one at the third match on Sunday. When the team turns on TV, it is often seen that the game is broadcasted with a slogan “Battle Elephant (the nickname of the Thai national team) beats South Korea.”

Recently, Nualfan Ramsam (58), CEO of Moongtai Life Insurance, promised 4 million baht (about 147 million won) to the team if Thailand beats South Korea, and Thai Prime Minister Theta Thawishin said on Monday that he would pay 3 million baht per point in the World Cup qualifying round. The Thai team will receive 9 million baht (about 332 million won) if it wins against South Korea and 3 million baht if it draws.

Ramsam expressed his ambition to surprise Korea when he took office last month, and achieved his first goal by tying with Korea on his birthday (March 21). Amid huge investment by Ramsam, also known as “Miss Pang,” Thai soccer seems to be on the rise. Ramsam recently provided 1.5 billion won (1.5 million U.S. dollars) to Thailand’s second and third division leagues.

South Korea, which was beaten by Thailand in the third game, must score early in the burdensome away game to ease the game.

The combination of Son Heung-min and Lee Kang-in (23, Paris Saint-Germain), the party to the so-called “table tennis gate,” is expected to take the lead in attack. Lee Kang-in, who publicly apologized to fans for the controversy over the “downward rise,” was replaced in the match against Thailand on the 21st, creating several decisive chances with a sensuous pass. Son Heung-min, who created a good scene through pass play with Lee Kang-in, said after the game, “I enjoy playing with Lee Kang-in.”

Lee Kang-in, who watched in Bangkok, continued to work hard at the training site without losing his unique smile. “He became brighter when he entered Thailand,” a national team official said.

Striker Joo Min-gyu (34) of Ulsan, who displayed good chemistry with Son Heung-min by playing in conjunction with the opponent team’s defense in the third game against Thailand, which has set the record for the oldest A-match debut in history, is also expected to start again in this away game. Attention is focusing on whether he will score his A-match debut goal in Thailand as a striker who has scored 56 goals in the K-League over the past three years.

BY: 스포츠토토

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