Australia and Thailand ban chanting at World Cup qualifier

Thai fans cheer on their national team during the 2018 World Cup qualifying football match between Thailand and Iraq at the Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on October 11, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Fans attending the match must wear white, black or grey

Football officials from Thailand and Australia have banned chanting at next month's World Cup qualifying match out of respect for the late Thai king.

Football associations in the two countries have also said fans should wear black, grey, or white.

Thais are observing a year-long period of national mourning after the death last week of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, who reigned for 70 years.

People in Thailand have been asked to wear black and avoid "joyful events".

The Football Association of Thailand had tried to move the 15 November match, but the Australian side asked for the game to go ahead.

In a statement on its website, Football Federation Australia said banners, flags, and megaphones would be banned and "joyful activities" were "strictly prohibited both inside the stadium and surrounding areas".

King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was the world's longest-reigning monarch, was thought of by many Thais as semi-divine. Much of the country broke down in sadness after news of his death.

Thailand's Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has been named as the king's successor, but has asked for a delay in the process.

Strict lese-majeste laws protect the most senior members of Thailand's royal family from insult or threat. Public discussion of the succession can be punishable by lengthy jail terms.

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