The military junta that overthrew Thailand’s elected government has told football fans that they can watch the World Cup for free.
As part of its goal to “return happiness to the Thai people”, the junta engineered a World Cup coup that will enable the country’s many football fans to watch all of the tournament’s 64 matches without having to pay.
The move is the latest to highlight the irony of the junta’s pursuit of happiness, as it tries to win support by embracing populist policies after kicking out an administration less than a month ago that it criticised for doing the same thing.
“We hope that every Thai will receive happiness from viewing the 2014 World Cup games. Please watch and enjoy, all of you,” said Lt Gen Chatudom Titthasiri, president of the army’s Channel 5 television station.
The generals stepped in by asking regulatory officials to find a way to deliver the World Cup to the masses.
The intervention came after the telecom regulator lost its second court case seeking to have RS International Broadcasting air the matches on free TV channels.RS, the company holding the exclusive broadcast rights, had planned to allow just 22 games to be broadcast for free. Viewing the remainder would have required fans to buy a decoder box.