"Thai people drink too much during the World Cup," said Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
 
"I would like to encourage Thai people to reduce their drinking or quit the habit."

Thaksin, who has previously been linked with a buy out of Liverpool Football Club in England, has plans to fly to Berlin to watch the World Cup final but suggested that soccer fans observe the upcoming Buddhist Lent by giving up alcohol.

"As Buddhists, Thai people should take the opportunity to stop drinking alcohol during the Buddhist Lent," Thaksin told reporters, referring to the three-month period when Buddhists refrain from indulgence.

The World Cup final is on July 9, a day before Lent begins.