No Trip to World Cup Final for Rescued Thai Boys

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BANGKOK, July 10 (Bernama) – The eight boys from "Mu Pa" (Wild Boar) football team rescued from the Tham Luang cave complex in Chiang Rai, would probably have to forget about attending the 2018 World Cup Final in Moscow as "they need to stay in hospital. "

Thailand's Public Health permanent secretary Dr Jessada Chokdamrongsuk said, the eight who were rescued on Sunday and Monday, were in good health conditions but needed to stay in hospital for a least a week.

"The first four boys (rescued on Sunday) aged between 14 to 16 years, had low temperature and two of them initially had pneumonia but their conditions have improved after receiving treatments and antibiotics. One of them also has cuts on his legs," he said in Chiang Rai Tuesday.

One of the boys from the second group, aged between 12 to 14 years, had a slow heart-beat but his condition had returned to normal.

The boys' blood samples had been sent to Bangkok for further analysis of any infection, said Jessada, adding that, the boys, who were currently being hospitalised at the province's Prachanukroh Hospital, would also receive psychological counsellings, although they were "happy and were occasionally laughing."

In a letter addressed to Football of Thailand recently, FIFA's president Giovanni Vincenzo “Gianni” Infantino extended an invitation to the 12 boys and their 25-year-old coach to attend the 2018 World Cup Final match at Luzhniki Stadium Moscow on June 15.

Their attendance in the final match, according to Giovanni, "would undoubtedly be a wonderful moment of communion and celebration."

The 12 boys and their coach, who were avid footballers, had been trapped inside the flooded cave complex since June 23, unable to exit because of the rising water due to heavy rains.

In risky rescue operations driven by fear of the incoming monsoon season and another round of heavy rain which could further flood the cave, eight of the boys were extricated on Sunday and Monday, leaving another five still trapped inside the cave.

Attempt to rescue the last four boys and their coach, had begun at about 10 am (local time) Tuesday with the rescue teams hoping all would be safely brought out from the cave later this evening.

-- BERNAMA