We all know the impact that a sport like football has on all of us. The global nature of the game has been typified by the sheer magnitude of fans around the world, even in some of the most remote areas on the planet.
In Southeast Asia for example, football is no less than a religion. The AFF Suzuki Cup is the latest competition bringing in fans in huge numbers and attracting attention from all walks of life. The interest in the biennial tournament organized by ASEAN was visible this week in Thailand of all places, and it really puts things into perspective.
This picture released by the Thailand National Team Facebook page shows the sheer passion that citizens of the country possess for the game of football and indeed their own national team. In case you’re wondering, the sign put up by a store owner reads – “Closed store for 1 day to watch the match against Timor Leste”.
The Thai National team is incredibly popular in the country and for good reason. The team has impressed in its performances as of late and are, in fact, the defending champions of the AFF Suzuki Cup. They play Timor-Leste today in the city of Bangkok and are expecting huge numbers to fill the stadium.
With fans such as this shop owner, it is clear what the entire city feels about the game of football and their own side’s chances in the Suzuki Cup.
Thailand have been drawn in a competitive Group B alongside heavy hitters in the likes of Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines, and play their first match of the tournament against qualifiers Timor-Leste, against whom they are expected to pick up a huge victory.
Fans are shutting their shops to watch the action unfold at the AFF Suzuki Cup, and you should get in on the action too.