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Nualphan Lamsam named first woman to lead Thai football

Thai insurance tycoon Nualphan Lamsam became the first woman appointed as president of Thailand’s football association on Thursday.

The CEO of Muang Thai Insurance, known by the nickname “Madame Pang”, also built up a 16-year football career that included a stint as manager of Thailand’s national football team.

She won 68 of 73 votes following a closed-door meeting of the association’s governing body.

Nualphan takes over the helm from Somyot Poompanmoung, who resigned following the national team’s poor performance and players’ disputes with Indonesia during last year’s Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

“I am glad, it’s truly my intention (to lead the team). I thank those who voted for me,” Nualphan, 57, told reporters after the vote.

“Football is the people’s sport, and it is the hope of the entire Thai population.”

She pledged to work for greater transparency within the football association after a scandal last year that revealed its budget was not properly used to support young players.

Nualphan had managed the national football team since 2021 but stepped down this year to run in the FA presidential election.

Thailand ended its Asian Cup journey in the round of 16, bowing out to Uzbekistan.

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