Without competitions, they either have no income or have seen their salaries slashed.
While many have sought help from the sporting authorities or the government, others are trying to earn extra money to feed their families by becoming business people or merchants.
And footballers lead the trend.
Thailand midfielder Sarach Yooyen opened his TT Car Wash & Detailing in Pathum Thani’s Lam Luk Ka district on Friday (May 8).
It is in Lam Luk Ka Soi 20 near Synphaet Hospital.
Football Association of Thailand president Somyot Poompanmuang attended the opening ceremony.
Thailand striker Adisak Kraisorn is selling durians from his orchard in Rayong under the brand name of Durian by AK9.
The Port forward says his monthong durians are organic and premium grade.
Somyot was among his first customers.
“It is delicious for sure,” said Adisak.
His Thailand teammates Thitiphan Puangjan of BG Pathum United and Adisorn Promrak of Muang Thong United have opened a Cafe Amazon branch in a joint venture near the Finance Ministry.
“We are new to business,” said midfielder Thitiphan.
“We get along well so I thought doing business with Adisorn would work well. We still have to learn in this business.”
Former Thailand defender Chonlatit Jantakam is selling instant Vietnamese noodles.
Meanwhile, futsal (five-a-side football) star Suphawut Thueanklang has a farm where he raises chickens and ducks and grows organic vegetables in his home province of Ratchaburi.
Suphawut, arguably the best Thai futsal player of all-time, is also selling pork balls, both fresh and grilled, under the brand name of Dao Salvo (top scorer) as he is the country’s greatest striker in the sport.
Golfers Chapchai Nirat and Panuphol Pittayarat are said to be doing well in their new businesses.
Chapchai, who is nicknamed ‘King Kong’ for his long drives, makes mamuang guan (mango sheets) and ‘dried pork by King Kong’ at his home in Phitsanulok.
“During lockdown, I talked to my family that we should do something,” he said.
“Mamuang guan is a famous product of my province, while dried pork is what I have made before. So both are not difficult for me and my family to make.”
He said both products are selling well and that he is thinking about making this a permanent job along with playing golf.
Panuphol is making ice creams under the brand name of ‘Iczy Mango’.
He claims his business is doing very well as he sells some about 300 cups a day.
Volleyball star Amporn Hyapha is selling nam phrik phao (chilli paste) and fried dried pork.
Snooker star Noppon Saengkham (Moo Paknam) is selling kun chiang (Chinese pork sausage) specially made by a factory near his house in Samut Prakan.
“Don’t be ashamed to work for a living. Don’t look down on small money,” said Noppon.
Sangmanee Sathian Muay Thai Gym, one of the top Muay Thai fighters, is currently working as a delivery man for Food Panda in Bangkok’s Min Buri district.
“I only do it when there are no competitions,” he said.
“But this certainly won’t be a permanent job for me as riding motorcycle in Bangkok is dangerous and could be risky for my fighting career.”