After a very intense stop in India, the A World of Football project headed towards Thailand. We knew in advance the passion of the Thais for football, but still we were really impressed by the omnipresence of the beautiful game in this wonderful country: football fields everywhere, jerseys on almost everyone’s shoulder, live games in the pubs,…
Of course, Thailand is also particularly known for its amazing landscapes which gather together magnificient moutains, jungle, islands and sandy beaches. In this very unique environment, we had the chance to spend a few days of shooting in the village of Koh Panyee. It has the particularity of being a fishing village entirely built upon water. Considering this, the leisure time of the inhabitants is conditionned by the location. Therefore, it is not surprising that one of their main sport activities is rowing.
But nevertheless, we felt in this place a very strong passion for football. It might appear astonishing as on a floating village, it is not really common to play football. In fact, the village people long had to wait for the full moon period because it is exlusively at this period that the tide is strong enough to enable them to shoot in the ball. Indeed when the sea goes down, a sandy field appears a few meters from the village. When this arrives, many young men jump into the boats and join the pitch in order to enjoy an intense session of football. But after an hour, the sea takes control of the place again and the field disappears under the blue water.
This situation appeared to be quite frustrating for the village’s football fanatics as they then had to wait one more month before the next football session. This is why, animated by their passion for the game, they decided to take a new challenge: to build a football pitch on the water ! Starting with woodsticks and rope, they managed to build a first small pitch litteraly floating on the water. After that, as the passion was still growing, they went further with the construction of a second field, bigger this time and elevated on pilotis !
Today, the life of the whole village is rythmed around football. Indeed, everyday at five, after the fishing, the village gathers next to the fields. Both the kids, the young men and older fishermen come there to play the game. No matter what, this is their football time of the day ! Everyday, we could feel the same enthousiasm. More than ever, we are convinced of the unique power of football to procure pleasure and to bring people together. In Koh Panyee, football is way wore than just a sport, it is passion that invigorates the daily life of many generations…
Discover the amazing story of Koh Panyee and enjoy their enthousiam for the game by watching A World of Football’s last documentary, A tel of passion .
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Next Stop: Argentina !