Rescued Thai boys will not attend World Cup final

The boys inside the cave (Thai Navy Seal via AP)

Fifa has said players from the youth football team rescued from a cave in Thailand will not be able to attend the World Cup final.

The sport’s world governing body said it has been informed by Thai authorities that the 12 boys and their coach “will not be in a position to travel” for health reasons.

Fifa expressed its “great joy” at the rescue and said its “priority remains the health of everyone involved in the operation”.

Leaders from the governing body will meet with Thai football officials this weekend in Moscow to explore “a new opportunity” to invite the boys to a major event to celebrate their survival.

The last four of the boys and the team coach were rescued on Tuesday from a flooded cave in northern Thailand after an ordeal that lasted more than two weeks.

Fifa expressed “profound gratitude to all persons involved in the rescue operation”, and condolences for the family of a diver who died.