Federation Internationale de Football Association invites boys trapped in Thai cave to World Cup final

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SEAL commander Arpakorn Yookongkaew told a news conference Friday morning that the rescuer was working in a volunteer capacity and died during an overnight mission in which he was placing oxygen canisters.

"The kids are still able to walk around, play around comfortably".

With heavy rains forecasted for the weekend, the Governor dismissed the idea of an immediate rescue, saying that efforts will be initiated only if the was the risk to rescuers' lives were minimal.

Kobchai Boonarana, deputy director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation department, said it was up to the rescue team in the cave to decide if and when the boys would be strong enough to tackle the journey out.

Narongsak said they would have to drill through 600 meters (1,970 feet) of fragile limestone rock to reach the boys and were discussing drilling angles.

An experienced former Thai Navy Seal assisting with the rescue died after running out of oxygen, raising fears that it was far from safe for the kids to make the attempt. The BBC identified the diver as 38-year-old Saman Gunan.

Arpakorn told reporters, "I can guarantee that we will not panic, we will not stop our mission, we will not let the sacrifice of our friend go to waste", according to the BBC. Authorities have said the soccer players are being looked after by Thai navy SEALs, including medics, staying with them inside the cave.

However, Ivan Katadzic, a Danish diving instructor who has been ferrying oxygen tanks inside the cave, said after a dive on Friday evening he was "double positive" about the mission because the water level had dropped considerably.

A military aircraft will carry Kunan's body from Chiang Rai to Satthahip Navy Base Friday evening.

Finnish volunteer diver Mikko Paasi, a long-term resident of Thailand, said Kunan's death had changed the mood on the ground and made real for rescuers just how risky the mission had become. "I feel the need to help, no question", he told Reuters.

The insanely hazardous Thai cave rescue has started well
The cave is a karstic cave complex under the Doi Nang Non mountain range that lies on the border between Thailand and Myanmar. The entire operation to rescue all 13 could last two to four days, depending on weather and water conditions, said army Maj.

"Definitely, you can feel it that it has an effect, but we're moving on". "He was very fit, he exercised every day, and he was a triathlete". Osottanakorn had hinted towards the children being imparted diving lessons but conceded that they were not ready yet.

The huge operation to rescue the group involves scores of Thai Navy SEALs, in addition to experts and volunteer divers from parts of Europe and Asia, as well as Australia and the US.

"But don't worry. We can handle it", the general added, but did not explain how long the group can last with the current amount of air nor how long the pipe installation will take.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has sent a team of engineers to Thailand to see if they can help in the rescue effort.

Croatia's national soccer team, which is competing in the ongoing World Cup, has offered its "support and love" to the young Thai soccer team trapped in a cave. They entered the cave during fine weather but became trapped when a sudden downpour flooded the narrow tunnels.

Worldwide rescuers team prepare to enter the cave where a young soccer team and their coach trapped by flood waters.

Rescuers in Thailand were no closer on Thursday to deciding when and how to extract 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave complex, where they were found this week, hungry and frail but otherwise in good health, after nine days lost underground.

One possibility is that the 13 stay put in the Tham Luang cave until the flood waters recede, at the end of the rainy season in about four months.

CNN's Kocha Olarn reported from Chiang Rai, Euan McKirdy reported from Hong Kong while Lauren Said-Moorhouse reported from London.

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