'Skilled worker' Nishino expected to be back in Aug

'Skilled worker' Nishino expected to be back in Aug

Thailand coach Akira Nishino.  Pattarapong Chatpattarasill
Thailand coach Akira Nishino. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) expects national team coach Akira Nishino to come back next month.

FAT secretary-general Patit Supaphong said yesterday his organisation had asked the Foreign Ministry to allow the Japanese coach to return to Thailand as a 'skilled worker.'

Thailand continues to ban passenger flights to combat Covid-19.

However, the government will allow certain groups of people to fly into the country.

If Nishino, who is in his native Japan, gets the green light, he will have to go into quarantine for 14 days after arrival.

"We expect him to return in August," Patit said.

Asia's World Cup qualifying round, which has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to resume in October providing that travel restrictions have been eased by that time.

Thailand will host Indonesia on Oct 8, travel to the United Arab Emirates on Nov 12, and are at home to Malaysia on Nov 17 in their remaining games in Group G of the continent's second qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Eight group winners and four best runners-up advance to the next stage.

After five games, Vietnam have 11 points, ahead of Malaysia (nine) and Thailand (eight).

The UAE have six points with a game in hand while Indonesia are still chasing their first point.

Pinto to coach UAE

Jorge Luis Pinto, best known for leading Costa Rica to the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals, has agreed to take over the UAE national team, the country's football federation said.

The 67-year-old Colombian will sign a two-year deal which would lead up to the 2022 World Cup finals, local media reported after the federation said the deal had been given a green light.

Pinto replaces Serbia's Ivan Jovanovic, who had been on a short-term deal when the coronavirus lockdown saw the UAE release him. bangkok post/afp

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