Somyot has full faith in Issara's work
published : 19 May 2023 at 04:00
newspaper section: Sports
writer: Tor Chittinand
Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Somyot Poompunmuang is keeping faith with national youth team coach Issara Sritaro despite the team's failure to reclaim the SEA Games gold in Cambodia.
The War Elephants lost to Indonesia 5-2 in a chaotic title showdown that saw several clashes between players and coaches of both sides on Tuesday night.
Four players, including three Thais, were red-carded during the extra time, prompting the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to launch a probe into the incidents at Phnom Penh's Olympic Stadium.
Thailand, who have since apologised and initiated their own investigation, ended the bad-tempered final with seven players on the field.
Thailand are the most successful nation in the men's football competition of the biennial event with 16 titles, but their last gold was won in 2017.
In his first public reaction since the final, the FAT chief said he still supports national U23 coach Issara. The men's football competition of the SEA Games is open to players aged under 22 years.
"It's disappointing that we could not win the gold medal and we have to apologise to the Thai football fans for the incidents that had happened during the final," Somyot said yesterday.
"As for the future of Thai U23 team head coach, Issara Sritaro, I still support him to continue his work as usual.
"I think they [the Thai team] did their best and we have to accept that other nations have also improved a lot.
"We apologise to the Thai football fans for the incidents that took place during the final. We are keen to ensure that no such incidents take place in the future by training the players to control their tempers."
Asked to comment on Jonathan Khemdee's decision to quit the national team, Somyot said he was told that the defender had announced it in the social media.
"If he [Jonathan] wants to retire from the national team, then it's his right to make such a decision. We have no objection to that," added the FAT president.
- Somyot Poompunmuang
- Issara Sritaro