Chanathip to skip national duty for club assignment
Midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin confirmed on Wednesday he will not play for Thailand in the defence of their Asean title in December.
The Japan-based playmaker captained the War Elephants and helped them win the Covid-delayed 2020 Suzuki Cup, which has been rebranded the Mitsubishi Electric Cup, in January.
Chanathip said he would not play in the 2022 Southeast Asian championship and would focus on his club duty at J-League side Kawasaki Frontale.
The biennial tournament is not on the Fifa international match calendar so clubs can choose not to release players to play for their countries.
Chanathip said it's normal that clubs do not want to release their players for such matches as they could risk injuries.
The Mitsubishi Electric Cup will take place roughly the same time as his club Kawasaki Frontale begin their pre-season, he said.
"I want to play for the Thai national team but to be honest, I have played in this tournament four times and I am not ready for the upcoming tournament," Chanathip said.
He said he often gets injured playing too many games and this could affect his club career.
Chanathip, 29, also said he wanted to give young players chances to play in the tournament.
"At the moment, we do not have enough players to replace the old ones in the near future," he said.
The Mitsubishi Electric Cup will be held from Dec 20, 2022 to Jan 16, 2023.
Thailand are in Group A with Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the winners between Brunei and Timor Leste.
- Chanathip Songkrasin