FIFA President Gianni Infantino invited on Friday the 12 Thai boys, who were rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, to attend the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony, which will be held in London on September 24.
The young footballers from the Wild Boars club and their coach were trapped underground for more than two weeks before being rescued following a three-day operation.
The team were invited to attend this summer’s World Cup final in Moscow but could not travel to Russia for medical reasons.
“The whole world was watching and was praying… It touched not only football, I think, but the whole world… We invited them for the final. Unfortunately, they could not come. We will invite them for the Best Awards in September in London and we are thinking also about some other activities we can do in Thailand,” Infantino told journalists.
He added that FIFA would think about inviting the boys to Russia and the World Cup final in Qatar in 2022.
The FIFA president also paid tribute to Thai diver Saman Kunan, who died during the rescue operation.
“There was one of the divers who was helping to get the boys out and who, unfortunately, died during the operation. And I would like to express our sincere condolences and our sympathy to his family, his friends,” Infantino added.
The Best FIFA Football Awards is an annual award presented to players and coaches since 2016.