The Thai boys recently rescued from a cave will not be at the World Cup final. The youth soccer team and their coach were trapped in the cave for more than two weeks. The last four boys were rescued on Tuesday by Thai Navy SEALs and foreign divers.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino recently invited the boys to the World Cup final, which will take place in a few days. But FIFA has been told that the boys will not attend the tournament due to medical reasons. A FIFA spokesman said it would look into finding a new opportunity to invite the group to a FIFA event.
The group got trapped in the cave on Saturday, June 23. They were reported missing a few hours later and search teams quickly launched an operation to find them. The boys, aged from 11 to 16, and their coach were found after many days by British divers.
The group was not rescued right away as teams needed to find a safe way to get them out. The cave was partially flooded and their health was not good enough to make the long journey out. Teams provided food, blankets and medical treatment to the group before deciding on the plan to get them out.
Rescue teams also took advantage of the rain break to pump the water out of the cave and get the boys out. Four boys were rescued on Sunday and flown by helicopter to a hospital in the region. The second part of the operation was resumed hours later. Teams could not continue the rescue operation right away because they needed to replace the air tanks.
The group spent more than two weeks inside the cave and experts said it would take some time for them to recover. The deputy director general of the Public Health Ministry said the boys were now able to eat solid food but nothing spicy yet. He also revealed that two of the boys possibly had a lung infection. He added that the boys were healthy and smiling and happy to be out of the cave.
The first boys rescued were in the weakest conditions while the second group were in better health. The youngest boy in the group was among the last rescued. It was recently reported by abc.net.au that the first eight boys rescued had started walking around their hospital beds.