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Friday, May 16, 2008

Thaksin Shinawatra 'sorry' for Man City fans

Thaksin Shinawatra 'sorry' for Man City fans

Thaksin Shinawatra has been forced to make a public apology in Thailand after his name was emblazoned on a Thai flag by Manchester City fans.
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City owner Thaksin, a former prime minister of Thailand, has sparked a fans' revolt over his plans to sack manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. They chanted support for Eriksson during Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.

A Thai flag bearing the message "Thank you Thaksin", which was unfurled during last week's Eastlands defeat by Fulham, has landed Thaksin in hot water in his home country, with prime minister Samak Sundaravej "strongly disapproving" of the flag.

"I saw it, but was occupied with the game," Thaksin said. "The fans are now well aware that the actions caused unhappiness in Thailand and they asked me to convey their regrets."

Thai police have accepted charges filed by the People's Network Against Corruption, who said Thaksin should be held responsible for disrespecting the flag. However, he is unlikely to face action after apologising on behalf of the fans.

City are due to visit Thailand on a 10-day tour starting next week with Eriksson in charge, even though his departure as manager is likely to be rubber-stamped after Sunday's Premier League game against Middlesbrough.

"Yes, I will go to Thailand - we all will," Eriksson said. "It's a tour that has been arranged and that hasn't changed. It's a combination of playing football and holiday, so it should be a good trip."

By Mark Ogden

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