Chanvit quits as Thailand national coach (February 20, 2007)

Takes job with Vietnam club


Thailand's head football coach Chanvit Phalajivin has quit and will go to Vietnam to coach the club side Dong Thap in the V-League, it was announced yesterday.

Chanvit said he had been given the green light by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Vijitr Getkaew and secretary general Worawi Makudi, to go ahead with the move and that he is leaving on good terms with the FAT.

"I would like to thank the FAT for this opportunity," Chanvit said.

The FAT has given no indication who will replace Chanvit in the key coaching job. The next major tournament is the Asian Cup which begins on July 7 when Thailand take on Iraq at Rajamangala stadium.

It had long been rumoured Chanvit was interested in taking up a position in Vietnam after Thailand performed well in the Agribank Cup last year.

Chanvit admitted he did not think his demands of 500,000 baht a month plus many fringe benefits would be accepted by the Vietnamese club.

"However, a few days ago, they informed me they agreed to all the conditions, so now I am going."

He said the contract, which would be on a yearly basis, would be signed on Friday in Dong Thap and he would start work as of March 1."

Dong Thap are a newly promoted team in Vietnamese League and Chanvit said the club have told him his first task was to avoid relegation.

"I will do my best to get them into the top 10," he said. "It will be a challenge as they are new to the top flight."

Chanvit said he did not think his departure would negatively affect the Thai national squad.

"There are many talented coaches here that can take over from me," he said. "I want to give someone else the chance to be head coach.

"However it is up to the FAT to decide who it is.

Chanvit said that he thought football in Thailand is on theh right track.

"Thai football is developing well and the team has the support of the people as you saw in the Asean Championships," he said.

Thailand has got through many coaches in recent years. Since England's Peter Withe was sacked in 2004 after a five-year stint, the position has gone to Brazil's Carlos Roberto Carvalho, Chatchai Paholpat and former German international Siegfried Held, none of whom lasted very long.

Chanvit took over in 2005 after Held was sacked.

The Thai coach guided Thailand to winning the gold medal in the 23rd SEA Games in Manila the same year. Chanvit's last major tournament saw Thailand lose to Singapore in the two-leg final of the Asean Football Championship earlier this month.