Thai football chief Somyot says change inevitable
'Embarrassing' losses put Zico's job in peril
Thai football chief Somyot Poompunmuang has admitted heavy losses suffered by the national team in the World Cup qualifiers are "embarrassing" and dropped strong hints that a major change is in the offing.
Upon his return from a trip to Japan to attend the game against the Blue Samurai in Saitama on Tuesday where Thailand lost 4-0 -- their sixth defeat in seven games -- Somyot expressed his frustration towards the team's faltering campaign in which they have picked up just one point out of a possible 21.
Thailand's loss in Japan followed a 3-0 home defeat against Saudi Arabia last week. The team's only point is a result of a 2-2 home draw against Australia in November.
Kiatisak, who was nicknamed Zico in his playing days by his fans, signed an extension to his contract only last month but the Thai team's fortunes have continued to be in a downward spiral.
In what is seen as his strongest remark on Kiatisak's future, Somyot said: "There is still one year to go on his coaching contract and I would have to seek advice from people who have expertise in such matters. I don't want to make a decision alone in this matter.
"But I am going to do the things that need to be done in the best interest of Thai football and if no improvement is achieved, I will resign myself."
While insisting he admires Kiatisak, who he said is well-respected by the players, Somyot stressed many things need to change for the team to become one of the top sides in Asia.
"From my personal point of view, the players listen to Kiatisak and he keeps everyone in line. And that's something any coach must be able to do," Somyot told the media.
"But we have many other things to think about as well to make the team progress to the next level. I would like to see Thailand become one of the top teams in Asia.
"So we go back all these questions about whether we should make changes. I would like to know what the fans think and if we're on the same page on this issue," he added.
"Should we be satisfied with winning the Suzuki Cup and the SEA Games? And then when we play against the real top teams in Asia we lose 3-0 or 4-0. Are the fans OK with it?
"Maybe some people are fine with that, but for me it's embarrassing. I can't and I won't accept these results. Something needs to be done.
"If I have to continue my job as an FAT boss for the next three years without doing anything to improve the situation, I think I had rather quit now."
Kiatisak, on his part, has said he does not mind losing his job if his team's performance has failed to impress the local fans.
"We are all answerable to the Thai fans, so let them be the judge and if they are not happy, I am ready to be sacked," Kiatisak said on Wednesday.