The Tourism Authority of Thailand has some "egg fu yung" on it’s face, after suggesting that Thailand may play host to the Tour de France in the future.
Jean-Etienne Amaury, chairman of the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) who organizes the Grand Tour event, dismissed the story as a misunderstanding, saying that while they did hold a meeting, the only thing up for discussion was a new one-day race – with the subsequent rumors about Thailand possibly hosting the Tour being a complete surprise.
"There are talks indeed but not to bring the Tour to Thailand," a spokesman said.
"There are discussions to settle in Thailand via a criterium, just like we did in Japan with the ‘Saitama Criterium by Le Tour de France’."
The criterium is a one-day race held on a circuit or though a city which often attracts the Tour de France winner but has little sporting value.
"We are still talking with Tour de France organizers but we are looking at next fiscal year. So 2016, not 2015," TAT governor Thawatchai Arunyik had told Reuters.
"We’re not sure yet how many stages we will hold whether it is one or two stages or the whole competition. This is something that still needs to be discussed.
"Thailand is the perfect location for this highly prestigious competition, not to mention that cycling as a sport is enjoying enormous popularity here at the moment."
The Tour de France historically takes place throughout the country bearing its name. However, in recent years, other countries such as England, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain and Luxembourg have also hosted the start of the race.
Following Thailand’s latest media faux pas, it doesn’t seem likely they’ll be joining the list of host countries anytime soon.
You must be logged in to post a comment.