Thai cave boys, coach invited to Spain to see football 'heroes'

La Liga (File)
La Liga (File)

Madrid - Spain's La Liga has invited the schoolboy team rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand to come watch a game once they have recovered from their ordeal to meet their "heroes."

"When the time is right, and everyone involved is ready I'd personally like to invite the children and the coach to attend a La Liga match" in Spain, president Javier Tebas said in a statement Wednesday.

"We'd like to host them and share with them the joy football can give, and I hope this gesture can help after the events of the last few weeks."

La Liga said it wanted the 12 boys and their football coach, who form the Wild Boars soccer squad, to "watch many of their football heroes in action in person."

The boys were trapped for more than two weeks after setting off to explore a cave complex in northern Thailand and getting caught by rising floodwaters.

One of the boys was wearing a Real Madrid t-shirt.

La Liga said it had messaged all its clubs to invite them to participate.

FC Barcelona responded on Wednesday it had invited the team to a match at its Camp Nou stadium in April and to take part in a gathering in the Spanish city of more than 2 000 youngsters from the club's football academies around the world.

Football's world governing body FIFA had invited the Wild Boars to Sunday's World Cup final in Moscow, but they remain too weak to come and must stay in hospital to make sure they have no infections.

Two of them are being treated for symptoms of pneumonia.

The last of the group was finally extracted on Tuesday after a painstaking and dangerous international rescue mission led by Thai Navy SEALs.

The boys received support from people as varied as US President Donald Trump, football star Lionel Messi or US technology entrepreneur Elon Musk.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 11294 votes
Cricket
12% - 3231 votes
Football
19% - 5079 votes
Athletics
2% - 673 votes
Boxing
1% - 268 votes
Cycling
2% - 635 votes
Golf
5% - 1395 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2310 votes
Tennis
3% - 910 votes
Water sports
1% - 244 votes
American sports
1% - 327 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 885 votes
Vote