The England football team has confirmed the cancellation of its friendly match against Thailand in Bangkok in June.
It was to have been the first time the England national side had played in Thailand.
The English Football Association cited scheduling concerns for the withdrawal, but the British press has speculated it is retribution for Thailand’s football boss breaking a “promise” to back England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
The Thailand-England fixture would likely have proved a highly lucrative event and was supposedly agreed in return for the support of Worawi Makudi, president of the Football Association of Thailand (FAT).
But Mr Worawi, also a Fifa executive member, chose another candidate at a Fifa committee members vote on Dec 2.
FAT secretary-general Ong-arj Kosinkha confirmed yesterday the English FA had informed Mr Worawi of the cancellation in a letter dated Dec 22.
In the letter, English FA general-secretary Alex Horne said: “I have been informed by [English FA chairman] Sir David Richards that the England national team is not ready to come to Thailand according to the programme that was set earlier.”