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Football team rescued from Thai cave expected to leave hospital

The 12 boys and their coach are expected to speak at a news conference about their ordeal.

The youth football team rescued after 18 days trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand are expected to be released from hospital and to speak about their ordeal.

A news conference with the 12 boys and their coach is being arranged in the northern city of Chiang Rai, where the boys have been recovering hospital since last week.

A conference hall being prepared as the venue for the news conference was decorated as a football pitch.

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The rescued players pose with a sketch of the Thai navy diver who died while trying to rescue them (Ministry of Health/Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital/AP)

Government spokesman Lieutenant General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said doctors, social workers and psychologists will be at the news conference to filter questions and ensure the boys’ well-being.

The media will not be allowed to interview the boys after the news conference.

The Wild Boars team-mates had entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23 for a quick, relaxing excursion after practice, but rain began falling while they were underground, and the water filled the caverns, cutting off their escape.

Divers found the group huddling on a spot of dry ground deep inside the cave 10 days later, hungry but generally healthy.

An international team of rescuers using diving equipment and pulleys extracted the 12 boys and the coach through the tight, flooded passageways over three days, concluding on July 10.

Some of the boys were treated for minor infections during their hospital stay, but all 13 have been described as recovering well.

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