Thailand escape AFC punishment (February 07, 2007)



Team warned over walk-off incident

TOR CHITTINAND

Thailand have escaped with a warning for their protest against a dubious penalty call in the first leg of the Asean Championship final against Singapore last week. The Asian Football Confederation met yesterday to discuss what sanction should be applied after the side left the pitch for 15 minutes when Malaysian referee C. Ravichandran awarded a late penalty to hosts Singapore when the game was locked at 1-1.


Mustafic Fahrudin scored from the spot to give Singapore a 2-1 advantage going into Sunday's second leg in Bangkok where a 1-1 draw was enough to hand the city-state a 3-2 aggregate win.


After careful consideration, the AFC decided that a verbal warning was enough.


Football Association of Thailand secretary general Worawi Makudi said he was happy with the outcome.


''I am pleased there won't be any punishment but the AFC have warned us that they don't want this incident to happen again in the future,'' he said.


Mr Worawi also said the AFC had enquired about the Asian Cup, which will be co-hosted by Thailand in July.


''They asked about our preparation to host this competition,'' he said.


''We confirmed that we are ready for it and we have asked the AFC to come and inspect the stadium next month.''


The AFC also announced they have signed a four-year ''memorandum of understanding'' with the English FA.


The deal, which runs until 2010, will focus primarily on education and training in the region.


Mr Worawi said the link could mean Thailand Premier League coaches get a chance to study their trade in England.


Meanwhile, Thailand midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao flew to Vietnam yesterday after penning a three-year contract with V-League outfit Hoang Anh Gia Lai.


Datsakorn will make his debut in a cup match on Friday.


He said he still wanted to play for the national side if he was selected.


''Whether I play depends on the coach,'' he said.


''I give 100% every time that I play for the national team.''


Datsakorn has been criticised for his belligerent display in the Asean Cup final, but he said that he was simply trying his best for the side.


''I tried to control my temper and I did what I could for the team,'' said Datsakorn.


Pre-Olympic team in action today


Thailand pre-Olympic team will take on Turkmenistan today in the first leg of the pre-Olympic qualifying round at the Olympic Stadium in Ashgabat.


Coach Prapol Pongpanich said the side would line up in a 5-3-2 formation and adopt a safety-first approach.


The match will kick off at 5pm (Thai time).


The second leg of the pre-Olympic between Thailand and Turkmenistan will be in Bangkok on February 14 at Supachalasai stadium.


PROBABLE THAI TEAM


Chalermkiat Sombatpan, Prat Samakrat, Noppol Pitafai, Kiatprawut Saiwaew, Jedtakorn Hemdang, Suthinan Pukhom, Vorawut Wongdee, Apipoo Suthornpanawet, Jakkraphan Kaewprom, Teerathep Winothai and Ronnachai Rangsiyo.