More than 4,000 people have been killed since 2004, when the decades-long conflict in Southern Thailand reignited. The violence, which is concentrated mostly in the provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat, is part of a campaign to establish an independent Muslim state in the region.
Pattani FC is a semi professional soccer club based in Pattani Province that plays in the Regional League Division 2 Southern.
Samae Samak, a Muslim member of the team, told the Tribune that the players “are not divided, whether Muslim, Buddhist or Christian. We are all friends.”
Pitsarok Rujakat, a Buddhist player, from northern Thailand, says “In Pattani, no matter how far away people live or if there have been incidents, they come to watch football matches.”