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Bangkok Football Fever

Tired of spending your weekends at malls, markets or the movies? We head to two of Bangkok’s leading Thai Premier League Clubs, Thai Port and Muangthong United, to talk to the mascots, the pretties and the fans and find out why an afternoon cheering at the football might just become your new favorite hobby.

By BK staff | Jul 14, 2011

  • Bangkok Football Fever
  • Bangkok Football Fever
  • Bangkok Football Fever
  • Bangkok Football Fever
  • Bangkok Football Fever
  • Bangkok Football Fever
  • Bangkok Football Fever
  • Bangkok Football Fever

Sirichai Moollek, 36

a driver for a logistics company, is a loyal fan of Sisaket FC, attending almost every one of their matches since they reached the TPL.

How often do you follow them?
Nearly every match. I keep up with them by e-mail or Facebook. Last time I went to Pichit by charter bus after the all fans pitched in. I took the bus with other fans all from Samut Prakan where my company is located.
Why Sisaket?
They’re my home town team. I’m so proud that we’re cheering for a local team, not for foreign teams, like the English premier league. I also like their style of playing.
What’s your cheering style?
I ask my fellow fans to cheer politely. Whether we’re winning, losing or drunk, we have to make sure not to get carried away.
What do you want to say for those who haven’t attended a game yet?
If you want to see Thailand in the World Cup, then we have to support them.

Chanadda Somapa, 24

a saleswoman, fell in love with Muangthong United three months ago and now can’t stop coming.

How did you become interested in football?
I had heard about Muangthong, but really wasn’t that interested. Then when I attended my first game, I saw they play very well, and I haven’t missed a match since. I like the goalkeeper, Gavin Dhamsajjanund, most, because he plays very maturely, with his brain, even though he’s quite young.
Do you follow them around?
Yes, I went to Chonburi with my boyfriend to cheer for them. It was about B2,000 for the whole trip.
Which was your most memorable match?
The one they played against Buriram F.C. The ticket sales were a record B2 million! We didn’t score, but it was still a great match.

Pongpisut Niyomtham, 28

an HR worker at TOT, tells us why he ignored his company’s football team and became a drummer for Ultra Muangthong, allegedly the best cheer group in Thailand.

When did you start cheering for Muangthong United?
Since 2009, about a year after they started playing. The team is near my home so it’s really convenient. I started out as a normal fan but then the Ultras needed a drummer at a match, and I asked to try out. Now we have a couple of drummers who rotate.
How often do you attend?
Last year I went to nearly every away match Muangthong played. But this year I picked only nearby stadiums because I now have a family. I’ve only missed two matches, though—Chonburi and Chiang Rai.
Why do you like them?
The coach and the team members are really accessible, like brothers. We’re really close. If we have any comments, we will tell our head cheer, then he will talk to the team about the problems.
Any memorable matches?
When we played at Rayong against the Navy team. We only had 200 fans with two drums but we roared so loudly, we buried the Navy fans, who had at least 5,000 people.
How do you feel about politics in Thai Football?
Politics and football don’t get along very well. Though we’re against the chairman of the Thai FA, we really need to change the whole system. Last year, the FA performed badly. They got hundreds of millions of baht for their budget, but they managed it very badly. I think there is corruption afoot for sure.
What do you have to say to those who haven’t attended a game yet?
I’d ask them to try. It’s not nearly as dangerous as they might think. Supporting local teams is way better than cheering for foreign leagues. You can see them for real, not just on a screen. We can touch them.

Chanid Wongharm, 32

an engineer at Amata Industrial Estate in Chonburi, tells about how he started as a fan of Chonburi FC before becoming a head cheer for Sisaket FC.

How did you become head cheer?
It may be because l dare to scream and play with the other fans. After getting this title, I do my best. Last year I never missed a match. This year I’ve managed 70% of the home matches and all the away games.
What are Sisaket fans like?
I am very thankful to Chonburi and Muangthong who pioneered the team cheer culture. Sisaket used to have rude cheers like “Get the fuck out of my way!” and other bad words. But now we scream only “Sisaket Su Su” or our cheer songs. We can have as many as 7,000 fans at away game.
How do you get such a loyal following?
Getting people on the internet isn’t enough. I ask existing fans to bring five friends along. They realize it’s really fun and keep doing it and then ask their friends to do the same. I even ran into an old friend who I hadn’t seen in 12 years. It’s amazing.
How do you control the fans?
Friends keep an eye on their friends. If they find someone being rude or throwing things, they will stop them. Thrown bottles and shoes will tarnish the whole Sisaket province.

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