The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has sent a formal letter to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) asking them to move the home World Cup qualifier against Australia on November 15 out of the country as Thailand mourns the death of its beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died on 13 October.
"Changing the time for the match isn't an option, so the match must definitely be on. We have discussed two options with FIFA. First, we're hoping for an agreement with Australia to let us play an away match first. Second, we might have to find a neutral venue to play if the first option fails," FAT spokesman Patit Supapong said on Saturday (15 October).
The Thai King, revered as the father of the nation, was the longest running monarch of the world. Adulyadej died at the age of 88 in a Bangkok hospital. He was suffering from illness for years.
Thailand has announced one year of mourning period in the country and has also asked people to "refrain from festivities" for 30 days.
Other domestic sport competitions, like soccer and golf tournaments, have also been cancelled or postponed out of respect for the emperor of over 70 years.
Although, the month-long "no celebration" phase will end before the qualifier— scheduled to start on 15 November against Australia— but FAT has said that it's too difficult to organise while the country's entertainment activities are significantly less intense.
Meanwhile, Australia's football association said it was waiting for opinion from FIFA and the AFC.
"Football Federation Australia is currently awaiting official notification from FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation on the status of the ... qualifier," an FFA spokesperson said in a statement.
Thailand have lost all four of their qualifiers and is at the bottom of Group B with no points. While, Australia — held to a 1-1 draw by Japan in Melbourne on Tuesday— is second in the group with eight points.