After a 17 day horrific ordeal of being trapped in an unreachable cave in Thailand, the “Wild Boars” soccer team were finally rescued on Tuesday. The soccer team consisted of 12 young boys. An elite group of divers, together with Thai Navy SEALs managed to get to them and successfully remove them. Saman Kunan, was one of the brave divers who died during the rescue mission.

The boys aged between 11-16 years old, together with their coach, were trapped in the Tham Luang cave when heavy rains caused serious flooding, and they were pushed into a muddy corner. The group were there for 9 days in total darkness before two British divers came across them and began the rescue effort.

It took 12 days to establish a plan to rescue the boys via a treacherous escape route where they had to squeeze through narrow tunnels.

Once they were brought back to land, they were hospitalised and will further undergo physical and mental evaluations. And as a token of appreciation for what they went through, the 12 boys were invited to attend the World Cup final in Moscow. Sadly, their doctors say they will not be able to make it.

FIFA personally extended an invitation to host the young boys at the final, held in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, unfortunately the boys have been instructed to remain in hospital for a minimum of seven days for monitoring by medical staff – after their two week stay underground.

FIFA expressed its great joy due to the news of the boys and their coach being successfully rescued, “We would like to convey our profound gratitude to all persons involved in the rescue operation, which unfortunately took the life of one of the divers. Our thoughts are with his family.”

Saman Kunan, the brave diver who gave his life to save the boys.

“We have been informed by the Football Association of Thailand that due to medical reasons, the boys will not be in a position to travel to Moscow for the World Cup final. FIFA’s priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation and we will look into finding a new opportunity to invite the boys to a FIFA event to share with them a moment of communion and celebration.”

The 12 boys saved from the cave.

FIFA officials are arranged to meet with members of the Thai soccer federation this weekend to discuss the possibilities of a trip for the boys in future, the boys are aged between 11 and 16 years-old. English Premier League club Manchester United, also extended an offer for the boys to attend one of their games next season at Old Trafford stadium. Even England national team player Kyle Walker has expressed a desire to send the brave boys jerseys.

 

Pictures: Twitter

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.