Various members of the sporting fraternity and other members of civil society celebrated the successful rescue of 12 Thai boys — members of a local football team — and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. Having been trapped inside for 18 days, the 13 individuals were rescued by Thai navy SEALS and divers and rescue workers from other countries, after much difficulty.
Relief and joy were felt throughout the world, such that U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to congratulate all members of the rescue team.
Soon after France defeated Belgium in the World Cup semifinal, Paul Pogba paid tribute to the rescued individuals on Twitter , dedicating the win to them. He wrote, "This victory goes to the heroes of the day, well done boys, you are so strong."
England's Kyle Walker offered to send out shirts to the boys. On Twitter , he wrote, "Amazing news that all of the Thai kids are out of the cave safely! I'd like to send out shirts to them! Is there anyone who can help with an address?"
English football club Oxford United FC posted a message via video, addressed to the rescued and the rescuers. It announced, "Before the game today Rob Hall passed on the club’s thoughts & good wishes to the young footballers & their coach freed from the Thai cave, as well as their hero rescuers!"
Television personality Piers Morgan credited the rescue team for a "magnificent operation." On Twitter , he wrote, "Apparently there were SEVEN British cave divers involved in the Thai rescue.That makes me very proud of my country. Congrats to them all on a quite magnificent operation, and deepest condolences to the family of the Thai SEAL who died."
Italian football club AS Roma summed it up when it called it "the best football news of the summer." Posting a picture featuring the 12 boys and a Navy seal diver who lost his life, it wrote, "The best football news of the summer – ALL 12 young Thai players and their coach have been rescued after being trapped in a cave in Thailand for two weeks. Our thoughts are with the family of ex-Navy SEAL diver Saman Kunan who died after delivering the boys oxygen. A real hero."
All India Football Federation president Praful Patel celebrated the "great news." On Twitter , he wrote, "Great news...Exceptional efforts.. All young thai boys and their coach rescued safely. The rescue team has proved that people with determination keep going and believe in themselves despite all challenges and obstacles."
Cricket columnist Makarand Waingankar was impressed by the stoicism shown by the kids. On Twitter , he wrote, "For all team sports the Thai kids rescue operation should be a case study For a team of kids to remain calm for 2 weeks & not give up needs to be analysed What was the communication mode between kids & rescue team too has to be studied It will be a captivating team building stuff."