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FAT chief defies Muangthong in club v country row

May 14. 2019
Thai football chief Somyot Poompanmoung
Thai football chief Somyot Poompanmoung
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By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam
The Nation

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Thai football chief Somyot Poompanmoung has given the green light for national coach Sirisak Yodyadthai to call up Muangthong United players for next month’s King’s Cup despite the club’s plea to give their players a miss due to their recent slump.

Muangthong earlier submitted a request to Sirisak not to pick their players for the friendly tournament in Buriram, lamenting their dismal form which has resulted in them plummeting to the bottom of the Thai League. 

They fear their players will not perform at their best and that will affect the national team.

Football Association of Thailand president Somyot, however, has firmly rejected that request, saying he has already assigned Sirisak and assistant coach Choketawee Promrut to be responsible for the tournament and they should be free to pick whoever they want.

“The Football Association has no intention to have any conflicts with the club,” the FAT chief said on Tuesday, “but once the coaches have decided which players they want, it’s up to them to decide what to do.

“If they are injured and have to withdraw from the team, that depends on the right of the players.”

Somyot also believes the national call-up is likely to benefit the players, helping them to regain their confidence in a different environment before they return to their club.

Four Muangthong players to be in contention for selection are strikers Teerasil Dangda and Adisak Kraisorn, midfielder Sarach Yooyen and defender Adisorn Promrat.

Besides, Somyot also said Teerasil, the Kirins’ key striker, should be allowed to play against Vietnam in Thailand’s opening King’s Cup game and thus win his 100th cap.

“I would love to see him win his 100th cap,” Somyot added. “It will be a great honour for him.”

A 35-man squad will be announced today for the four-team competition, which also features Curacao and India, and will be played at Buriram’s Chang Arena.

India and Curacao will play the opener on June 5 ahead of the Thai-Vietnam showdown later that day.

The third-placed playoff and the final will be played on Saturday, June 8.

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