He told reporters the four rescued boys were taken to the hospital in the town of Chiang Rai, the provincial capital, for evaluation, and the next phase of the operation would resume after about 10-20 hours. Narongsak said experts told him the new rain could shrink the unflooded space where the boys are sheltering to 108 square feet.
Fifa's letter said the team's appearance at the final would "undoubtedly be a wonderful moment of communion and celebration" but whether they would make it there in time or if it was a suitable activity for the traumatised group was not known. Four others were extracted on Sunday.
The first four boys to be rescued were led out of the cave by an worldwide team of rescue divers on Sunday. He is still believed to be one of the nine inside the cave. Pairs of divers shepherded the boys on the long and painstaking journey out of the cave, navigating muddy and silty water through tight passages.
The effort to save the boys and their coach has involved both foreign divers and members of an elite Thai navy unit.
The team's plight has been followed by people around the world.
The rescue operation began Sunday and has been progressing rapidly. "The boys' strength, the plan - today we are ready like before".
The unsafe bid to rescue the boys - aged between 11 and 16 - got going again hours earlier on Monday after a break to replenish oxygen supplies and make other preparations deep inside the cave complex.
Osottanakorn said the second rescue involved numerous same divers who brought the four boys out on Sunday. Four of the trapped Thai cave boys were rescued over the weekend, and on Monday, four more were transported to the hospital.
The "Wild Boars" soccer team and their coach got trapped on June 23 when they set out to explore the vast cave complex after soccer practice, when a rainy season downpour flooded the tunnels.
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He attributed the improvement of the extraction mission with lesser time spent to the increased experience with the terrain of the divers, the 100 plus people from different countries who installed the base line and the other support equipment.
The children, who have spent more than two weeks more or less in complete darkness will receive individual counselling with a psychiatrist as they return to life above ground, a teacher at Mae Sai Prasitsart school where several of the boys study said.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the first four boys rescued.
He was taken by helicopter and ambulance to the same hospital in Chiang Rai where the first four boys were rescued on Sunday.
Rescuers are moving ahead quickly because they are afraid monsoon rains will completely flood the caves.
Writing in elegant Thai script, the boys urged their parents not to worry, adding that they hoped they wouldn't get too much homework after being rescued and couldn't wait to eat their favorite foods again. There was some rain on Sunday, which caused some water to go into the cave, but officials were able to pump an nearly equal amount of water out.
He had said fresh air tanks needed to be laid along the underwater route. If the tests are successful, the sub would be placed on a 17-hour flight to Thailand. Last week, a former Thai navy diver died while preparing for the operation.
The other, and perhaps more worrying, was that oxygen levels in the complex were falling close to risky levels.