Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Saved Thai Soccer Team Can't Accept Invite to Attend World Cup Final

Cassandra Castillo | 12 July, 2018, 03:14

Audiences around the world cheered the team's successful rescue after the saga generated messages of help, prayers and - finally - expressions of relief.

On Tuesday, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said the boys, who could not swim, were given anti-anxiety medication ahead of the rescue out of the cave, which would require an hours-long trek and swim through the murky water.

The nerve-shredding three-day operation ended on Tuesday with the final group of four boys and the coach emerging from the cave which had held them captive for 18 days.

He lauded the co-operation between Thai and worldwide rescuers.

On Wednesday, several of the boys were filmed in the hospital, flashing victory signs.

Thai officials have shown the first videos documenting the recovery of the boys who this week made a dramatic escape from a flooded cave complex in northern Thailand.

Dr. Richard Harris, who was the last member of the rescue team to leave the Thai cave, lost his father after the soccer team were freed. The boys are expected to be released within seven days barring complications.

"Some of them were asleep, some were wiggling their fingers ..."

Thailand's junta chief told reporters on Tuesday that the group had been given a "minor tranquiliser" to help calm their nerves.

The whole world has been fixated on the unfolding drama at the cave complex in Chiang Rai province ever since news broke that flash floods had trapped 12 boys from a local football team and their coach on June 23. "He will be coming home soon and taking some well-earned time off to be with his family".

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The rescue received blanket coverage in Thai media with newspapers The Nation running the headline "Hooyah!"

"Hooyah! Mission accomplished", read one headline, echoing the rallying cry of the SEAL unit.

Health officials have also previously said the boys would get a mental health evaluation, to address any problems caused by their ordeal.

Thongchai Lertwilairattanapong, an inspector for Thailand's health department, briefed reporters on the status of the Wild Boars football team on Wednesday.

They became trapped after heavy rains caused flooding.

An American involved in the operation described the perilous zero-visibility dives that brought the boys out safely as a "once in a lifetime rescue". "They are children being children, it was an accident", Narongsak said.

"We're here looking at this as a movie that could inspire millions of people around the globe", Scott said. "They walk from chamber three to mouth of the cave".

The rescue process started at 10am local time on Sunday and involved 13 global divers and five Thai navy seals, who were referred to as "an all-star team" by NarongsakOsatanakorn, who is the Governor of Chiang Rai province and head of the joint command centre coordinating the rescue.

The Wild Boars soccer team and their coach are expected to spend a week in hospital.

"I'm very happy and relieved".

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