Manchester City manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson (R) and Chinese player Sun Jihai spread
the charm in Thailand [AFP]

English Premier League club Manchester City have announced the signing of three Thai players and their plans to build an academy in Thailand.

The club, controlled by ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, said Kiatprawut Saiwaew, Suree Sukha and Teerasil Dangda would train with City on their return from international duty before being loaned out.

All three had trials with City in August before representing their home country in the Asian Cup tournament.

Manchester City academy manager Jim Cassell, in Thailand with coach Sven Goran Eriksson, said that he was looking at suitable sites for the academy.

"Dr Thaksin wants to spread Manchester City's global profile and is also keen to give young Thai footballers every opportunity of developing to their full potential," Cassell said.

Third-placed City, who are enjoying their best start to a season for many years, also announced global partnerships with three more clubs, Grasshoppers Zurich (Switzerland), Chonburi FC (Thailand) and Perth Glory (Australia).

Earlier this week FC Moscow (Russia), Thanda Royal Zulu FC (South Africa) and Shanghai Shen Hua (China) were confirmed as part of an initiative that will include coaching exchanges and commercial opportunities.

Ancelotti warns of diaster

Meanwhile, AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said the recent wave of fan violence in Italian football could lead to another event like the Heysel disaster.

"To be honest, I have a feeling that the horrors of the Heysel disaster could return after all that happened over the weekend in Italy," Ancelotti said.

A policeman shot dead a 26-year-old man during a scuffle between fans of Lazio and Juventus at a motorway service station in Tuscany on Sunday.

The incident sparked riots by hundreds of fans who set cars on fire and attacked police barracks.

Thirty-nine people, most of them Italian fans, died after a wall collapsed following a charge by Liverpool supporters before the 1985 European Cup final between the English club and Italy's Juventus at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.

The tragedy led to English clubs being banned from European competition for five years.

"I've been talking so many times to Gigi Maifredi, who was Juventus coach at that time, and he said that he still can't recover from the horror of Brussels," said Ancelotti, who was in Bulgaria to receive an honorary award from Plovdiv University.

"Football is just a game and it should never turn into something that is a matter of life and death."

Source: Agencies