Ongoing embarrassing situation for Thailand, with the main stadium still not ready
Fifa has yet to decide whether to use the Bangkok Futsal Arena as the main venue for the Futsal World Cup 2012 following delays in completing the stadium’s flooring.
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) officials yesterday met Jaime Yarza, Fifa’s senior manager of Futsal and Beach Soccer Competitions, who visited the arena in Nong Chok district to check on the stadium, which is behind schedule.
Fifa representatives are to visit the arena again today to assess construction progress and observe testing of the stadium before submitting a report back to Fifa, deputy Bangkok governor Taya Teepsuwan said.
Due to the delayed arrival of imported flooring, a temporary surface had been laid to allow for a test of the futsal competition ground’s readiness today, Ms Taya said.
A BMA source said polypropylene, the polymer material that Fifa used to allow for futsal stadiums in the past, has been laid. Fifa now requires parquet flooring for stadiums.
The playing surface, as well as the air conditioning, sound, and screen systems would be fully tested today, Ms Taya said. Although the futsal field had yet to meet Fifa standards, the flooring could be completed soon, she said.
The imported flooring is expected to arrive in Bangkok on Thursday when the Futsal World Cup is scheduled to kick off. The flooring should be completed by Nov 6 and that would allow plenty of time for the arena to be made ready for the semi-finals and final of the futsal tournament on Nov 14-18, Ms Taya said.
Organisers said Hua Mak Indoor Stadium and Nimibutr Gymnasium in Bangkok and the Gen Chatichai Chunhavan Arena in Nakhon Ratchasima can host more matches if the Bangkok Futsal Arena is not completed in time, according to Worawi Makudi, president of the Football Association of Thailand.
As part of the arena test, a number of special futsal matches will take place today including a match between the BMA and a team of journalists and another game for visually impaired players, Ms Taya said.