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Man City strengthen Thailand soccer ties

SoccerNews in English Premier League 25 Apr 2008

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Manchester City will play in Bangkok next month, a report said Friday, as the club strengthened its ties with Thailand by appointing a former Thai coach to help develop academies in Asia.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's side, who could consign Fulham to Championship football next season if they win or draw with them on Saturday, will take on a Thailand Premier League all star team on May 17, the Bangkok Post said.

Citing City spokesman Paul Tyrell, it said they will bring all their players not on international duty at the European Championships, including Benjani Mwaruwari, Elano, Martin Petrov, and Darius Vassell.

The squad will also feature the three Thais on City's books — Suree Sukha, Teerasil Dangda and Kiatprawut Saiwaew.

The club is owned by ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and on Thursday he appointed former Thai national coach Roberto Carlos de Carvalho as an advisor to help develop the club's international academies.

The 60-year-old Brazilian will examine ways to create academies and soccer schools across Asia, the club said on its website.

Thaksin revealed last year an ambitious plan to make Manchester City a global brand, announcing academies in China and Thailand and partnership agreements with a numbers of clubs.

They include China's Shanghai Shenhua, Thailand's Chonburi FC, Australian A-league outfit Perth Glory, Grasshoppers Club Zurich of Switzerland, Thanda Royal Zulu FC of Durban, and FC Moscow.

City also play in Hong Kong on May 22 in a previously announced stop.

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