defend Cup title 24/12/99
Atop Brazilian selection will defend
their title in the King's Cup football tournament next year in Bangkok
together with Morocco and Finland.
According to the secretary general of the
Football Association of Thailand, Mr Worawi Makudi, Brazil would bring a
strong team to defend their title.
He said Morocco and Finland would field
their national squads who are full of excellent players.
The King's Cup will be held February
Mr Worawi said "I want the King's
Cup tournament to be one of the greatest tournaments in Asia."He said
it was important for Thailand's national squad to play against top class
teams as that was the only way they would improve.
Mr Worawi said that Uruguay have
requested a match against Thailand and it was likely to be played on
He also confirmed that the German
national team will come to play Thailand on December 14 as part of their
still looking for elusive goal 17/12/99
Thailand's Kiatisak "Zico"
Senamuang is still looking for his first goal as Huddersfield reserves
lost 2-1 against Burnley at Turf Moor in the Pontin's League on Wednesday
Once again the Thai player showed some
neat touches but failed to find the back of the net.
In the first half he had a fine 25 yard
shot well saved by the Burnley goalkeeper while another effort struck the
defenders and was cleared.
Kiatisak was eventually substituted in
the 60th minute with Burnley leading 1-0.
Huddersfield's reserves don't have
another match until they take on Manchester City at The McAlpine on
After the match Kiatisak said he was
proud to have been chosen for the Asian All Stars team to play Iran on
December 20th but he probably would not be able to participate because of
his commitments to Huddersfield.
Under the agreement with Huddersfield he
is only allowed to play for Thailand in the SEA Games, Asian Games, Asian
Cup and World Cup.
crowned champions after thrashing BBC 12/12/99
Win 10-0 to triumph on goal difference
Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) thrashed bottom-placed Distar-BBC 10-0 at the
Hockey Stadium yesterday to win the Caltex Premier League on goal
difference from three other clubs, Port Authority, BEC Tero, and Osotsapha.
RTAF, the 1997 Premier League champions,
went into the match knowing they needed to beat Distar-BBC by at least
seven goals to overhaul Port's superior goal difference.
Distar were ripe for the slaughter having
lost 19 of their first 21 matches with the other two being drawn.
It took RTAF just six minutes to open
their account through captain Songserm Maperm after a fine pass from Sunai
Jaidee. Ten minutes later, Songserm got the second and there were further
goals before half-time from Atsawa Singthong (21st), Kanwee Thongsiew
(29th) and Worawit Tavornwan (45th).
Despite the 5-0 half-time lead, RTAF head
coach Piyapong Pue-Onn was angry with his players for not taking enough
The sixth goal came 45 seconds into the
second half when Worawit scored with a 30-metre shot. In the 51st minute
Worawit completed his hat-trick with a header which made it 7-0.
Ten minutes later, RTAF got the crucial
eighth goal when Distar's Pakkapolchanan Ratsamee scored in his own net.
Songserm then completed his hat-trick and
Worawit completed the rout with his fourth goal in the 80th minute.
"It was an amazing result in that we
scored 10 goals," said Piyapong.
"We have been preparing for this
last match for a long time. We won a lot of possession and so Distar could
not control the game at all.
"I told my players they had to score
as many goals as possible.
"We are very happy to finish as
league champions."In the other matches, Port Authority defeated
former champions Sinthana 5-2 at the Army Stadium.
A 5-0 win would have been enough to
clinch the title for Port but the two goals scored by Sinthana proved
crucial with RTAF scoring 10.
At the Bangkok Bank venue, the hosts lost
1-0 to the Telephone Organisation of Thailand (TOT).
BEC Tero beat Royal Thai Army (RTA) 3-2.,
BMA edged Krung Thai Bank 1-0 and Osotsapha defeated Thai Farmers Bank
RTAF win two million baht as champions
while runners-up Port receive one million baht.
Distar-BBC are relegated to the first
division next year while the Army will play off against the second-placed
team in the first division to decide whether they survive in the Premier
STANDINGSPWDL FA PtsAir Force 2211 65 43
27 39Port 2212 3731 16 39BEC Tero 22 1165 352339Osotsapha 221093 32 21
39TOT 2211 5 6 26 20 38TFB 228 8 6373132Sinthana 22 9 3 10 30 30 30Bangkok
Bank 2277 8 22 21 28BMA 22 7510 242826Krung Thai 22 510 728 32 25Army 227
411 25 30 25Distar BBC 2202 20 11 65 2
gets work permit 09/12/99
Thai striker Kiatisak "Zico"
Senamuang has received his work permit from the Labour Ministry in England
which means he is eligible to play for Huddersfield first team, according
to reports from McAlpine Stadium.
Kiatisak was scheduled to play for
Huddersfield reserves against Scunthorpe reserves yesterday afternoon and
was hoping to make a good impression on Huddersfield boss Steve Bruce.
Huddersfield play Liverpool in the third
round of the FA Cup on Sunday but it is unlikely that Kiatisak will be
named in the squad.
The match will be shown live on UBC's
Supersport at 9 p.m. while Channel 7 will show a tape at 12.30 a.m.
Channel 3 will televise live the Euro
2000 draw at 9 p.m. Sunday.
for another outing 08/12/99
Thai striker Kiatisak "Zico"
Senamuang has another chance to show what he can do when he plays for
Huddersfield reserves tonight against Scunthorpe in the Pontins League.
After a promising showing in his opening
match against Preston reserves last week, Kiatisak will be keen to follow
it up with another sound performance to catch the eye of Huddersfield
manager Steve Bruce.
Huddersfield are flying high at the top
of the first division and take on Liverpool on Sunday in an eagerly
awaited third round FA Cup tie.
With tough competition from the in-form
Huddersfield strikers, Kiatisak is not expected to be in the FA Cup squad
but if he can score in tonight's match he could be knocking on the door.
Talking to reporters at the Thai Chalida
restaurant on Monday before his regular training session, Kiatisak said he
was confident he would eventually make the first team.
"I must prove I am worth it by
putting in an outstanding performance for the reserves," he said.
"I am adapting quite well and am playing up to 90 per cent of my
"I know fans in Thailand are eager
to see me playing for the first team and I will do my utmost to achieve
that. I shall not fail. Huddersfield Town are a strong team."He
apologised to fans for not answering e-mails and letters saying he had to
concentrate on his football.
Meanwhile, Doug Thompson of the
Huddersfield Daily Examiner said Kiatisak faces a tough task of getting
into the team with the strikers Clyde Wijnhard and Marcus Stewart playing
so well. He said Kiatisak would probably have to wait until one of them
gets injured before he gets his opportunity.
prospects look good 08/12/99
Possible threat from Lebanon
Thailand have a
great opportunity to to progress to the second qualifying round of the
World Cup after being drawn in the same group as Lebanon, Sri Lanka and
Pakistan in yesterday's draw in Tokyo.
Seeded top in Group 5, Thailand managed
to avoid any of the heavyweights in Asian football. South Korea and Japan
were not in the draw because they are hosting the event.
Of the teams Thailand will face, Lebanon
are expected to be the toughest although there is little known about their
Sri Lanka and Pakistan are both better
known for their cricketing ability rather than footballing prowess and
should not be a major problem for Thailand who have shown improved form in
the last year under English coach Peter Withe.
Withe is currently in England but is
expected to be reasonably happy with the draw.
Saudi Arabia, currently ranked by Fifa as
Asia's top team, were handed a comfortable looking start to their
The Saudis, who reached the second round
of USA 94 and also qualified for France 98, should be able to breeze past
Vietnam, Bangladesh and Mongolia.
But their Czech coach Milan Macala warned
that the long trips involved in the ties could complicate the task of
topping the group and progressing to the second round.
"Each country has a good team and
every country has the same chance, same possibility, because you play one
game at home and one game away sometimes in difficult conditions."But
he confessed: "It is not a bad group."Asian Games champions Iran
face a tougher task in Group 2, which includes former Soviet republic
Tajikstan, as well as minnows Burma and Guam.
Group six is likely to be the toughest in
Asia with Iraq obliged to battle another former Soviet republic,
The draw could also have been kinder to
China, who have high hopes of qualifying for their first ever World Cup.
Indonesia, who join the Chinese in group
nine, are one of the stronger second-ranked Asian teams. The other group
members are Cambodia, who were recently dumped out of the Asian Cup by
Indonesia, and the Maldives.
India are also in with a shout of
advancing. They stand 43 below the United Arab Emirates, the top seeds in
their group, in the latest Fifa rankings.
Group One looks the most open of the ten
Asian groups. It has Oman, Syria, Laos and the Philippines.
Group three, with Qatar, Malaysia, Hong
Kong and Palestine, also looks tight but the Qataris will be confident of
advancing after only narrowly missing out on a playoff spot for France
Shunichiro Okano, president of the
Japanese football association, said the Asian groups were well balanced.
"There are many groups in Asia and
it will be very difficult in the second round.
"I'm grateful that Japan are spared the
qualifiers but now we have to build up a team compatible with or stronger than
the powerhouses of the world.
CALTEX PREMIER LEAGUE:
Fancied teams stay in the hunt 2/12/99
FOUR teams, PAT, RTAF, Tero Sassana and
Osotspa, collected 36 points at the end of their penultimate matches
yesterday to stand an equal chance of capturing this year's Caltex Premier
Three matches were contested at different
venues yesterday. Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), who were fifth in the
standing, yesterday took on Telephones Organisation of Thailand (TOT),
lying fourth, at the Dhupatemiya Stadium. TOT dominated the game
throughout, but could not break the deadlock. Sunai Jaidee scored the lone
goal for RTAF in the 53rd minute, firing a free-kick from 20 metres into
the TOT net.
At the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT)
Stadium, Apisit Khaikaew drew first blood for hosts PAT in the 71st
minute, but Suthee Suksomkij scored the equaliser for Thai Farmers Bank
(TFB) just four minutes later. The match ended 1-1.
Competing at the Mahanakorn University of
Technology Stadium, hot favourites BEC Tero Sassana recovered from a
one-goal deficit against Bangkok Metropolitan in the 45th minute to even
the score in the 75th minute. Bangkok Metropolitan scored through Thorn
Soraphume, while Jatupong Thongsuk found the equaliser for Tero Sassana.
Teams P W D L F A Pts
PAT 21 11 3 7 26 14 36
Tero Sassana 21 10 6 5 31 21 36
Osotspa 21 9 9 3 29 20 36
RTAF 21 10 6 5 33 27 36
TOT 21 10 5 6 25 20 35
TFB 20 8 8 4 35 25 32
Sinthana 21 9 8 2 28 25 30
Bangkok Bank 20 6 7 7 19 19 25
Krung Thai 21 5 10 6 28 31 25
RTA 21 7 4 10 23 27 25
Bangkok 21 6 5 10 23 27 23
Distar BBC 21 0 2 19 11 51 2
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
FA wants to
see Zico's record 25/11/99
The English Football Association (FA)
have asked their Thai counterparts to urgently fax details of the career
of Kiatisak "Zico" Senamuang.
They reportedly need the details for the
work permit Zico needs if he is to play for Huddersfield Town in the
English first division.
Secretary general of the FAT, Mr Worawi
Makudi said the English FA just want details about Zico's international
career to confirm his credentials.
Mr Worawi said he thought there would be
Huddersfield missed a chance of going top
of division one Tuesday night when they lost 2-0 at Walsall.
ENGLAND has been widely criticised for
spending an enormous amount of money on its World Cup 2006 bid campaign,
but Sir Bobby Charlton is optimistic it will not be in vain.
''If we don't try, we'll not win
anything,'' Sir Bobby told The Nation yesterday. ''And I think we will win
because we have the best bid.''
With a big budget of 9.4 million pounds
(about Bt590 million), England has shown the most enthusiasm, showering
the international soccer community with loads of information about their
readiness. It has also lent a helping hand to many developing countries
and initiated many projects to impress Fifa member nations.
Among these programmes is an English
invitation to 12 Thai children, and an equal number from each of the Fifa
affiliated nations, to attend the 2006 World Cup -- if England hosts it.
And Sir Bobby himself yesterday devoted
his time to teach football and meet children at the Human Developing
Centre at Khlong Toei, which is the part of the Welcome to the World
''Young people are tomorrow's players,
coaches, supporters and administrators. That is why we have made young
people and the future of the game such an important part of our bid for
the World Cup,'' Sir Bobby said.
''The next step could be for young Thai
footballers to come to England and to spend time at the training academies
of our clubs -- academies which are now producing the next generation of
our Michael Owens and David Beckhams.''
Sir Bobby opposed Fifa's idea that it
should be the African countries' turn to host the World Cup, saying:
''They will have chances to host it one day. Since the World Cup is a very
big event now. I think they shouldn't hold the World Cup when they are not
Asked about Thailand's bid for hosting
the 2008 Olympics, Sir Bobby said: ''I know it will be tough. For the
World Cup, there are 24 Fifa members to impress. But for the Games, there
are more than 90 members to vote.''
Money for the England 2006 campaign comes
from three sources: the Sport Council, 20 English premier league clubs and
the Football Association. But for Thailand's Games bid, the big part will
come from the government's allocation alone.
However, Sir Bobby was encouraging,
saying: ''Why not go for it? It's sure going to be a big step for
BY WARARAK VORAVIDTHAYAKOM
Kiatisak off to Huddersfield 18/11/99
Will fly to England Saturday
Thailand's national football captain Kiatisak Senamuang will be joining
English first division club Huddersfield Town at the weekend, it was
The talented 26-year-old striker will be
flying to England early on Saturday morning, officials from Huddersfield
and his present club Rajpracha confirmed.
The news was first made public in Hong
Kong by Huddersfield's public relations officer Dale Tempest.
"Assuming everything goes well, we'll be hoping that he can play in
our reserve team on December 1 against Preston North End. It depends how
he adapts to the frozen north,." he told ReutersNicknamed
"Zico" after the former Brazilian star, Kiatisak was recommended
to Huddersfield by Premiership club Middlesbrough who gave him a trial
earlier this year. Huddersfield, managed by former Manchester United star
Steve Bruce, are enjoying a very successful season and are currently
placed third in the league.
Last night an overjoyed Kiatisak told the
Bangkok Post he was really looking forward to the challenge of playing for
Huddersfield. He said he was already brushing up on his English although
he said the language barrier shouldn't be too much of a problem as he knew
most of the football terms already.
" I am really excited and have been
training very hard," he said. "I know that it is going to be
very cold there so I am taking a lot of different medicine with me. As for
the food, I know it is going to be hard, but I think I will have to get
used to English food."He stressed that he would be giving his very
best in every performance.
" I am very thankful to my fan club
for supporting me throughout these years. I promise them that I will not
let them down,." he said. He will sign the contract on November 22.
Kiatisak confirmed he would be on a
weekly wage of 1,000 (about 63,000 baht) with extra money if he plays
He will also set up his own
website-www.zicothailand.com-starting December 1 for anyone who wants to
keep up with his progress.
President of Rajpracha, Pol Maj-Gen
Chetchandra Pravitra said he was very pleased for Kiatisak. "I am
very happy that finally all the issues have been ironed out," he
Negotiations had been going on for two
months and Rajpracha had come under fire from some sections of the Thai
press for the slow progress.
M.R. Chetchandra explained that there had
been a lot of documents to sort out and there was some problem arranging a
visa. He said the Thai media didn't realise that it was much more
complicated to transfer a Thai player to England than to loan one to a
Southeast Asian country.
He said Rajpracha would deeply miss
Kiatisak even though he spent most of his time tied up with the national
He also advised him to prepare himself
for a different lifestyle in England.
"Playing in England will be very
different from his stint with the Malaysian football club Perlis, "
he said. "In Thailand he has people assisting him all the time. In
England he will have to be more independent."
November 17, 11:18am London Time
Thai captain to join Huddersfield
HONG KONG, Nov 17 (Reuters) -
Thailand captain Kiatisuk Senamuang is to join English first
division Huddersfield Town, a club official said on Wednesday.
Kiatisuk, a 26-year-old striker,
will leave Bangkok for England on Thursday or Friday, Huddersfield
media officer Dale Tempest said.
"Assuming everything goes
well, we'll be hoping that he can play in our reserve team on
December 1 against Preston North End. It depends how he adapts to
the frozen north."
Known in his homeland as Zico,
after the celebrated former Brazil striker, Kiatisuk came to
Huddersfield's attention this year after a failed trial at
cleared to play 11/11/99
Thailand's top striker Kiatisak
"Zico" Senamuang is set to play for English First Division club
Huddersfield Town following the clearing up of paperwork with the Football
Association of Thailand yesterday.
Secretary general of the FAT, Worawi
Makudi, said Kiatisak was free to play in England. The striker has already
had to give up his job in the Thai police force.
All that is left now is the final
paperwork between Kiatisak's current team, Rajpracha, and Huddersfield.
It is believed Kiatisak will be paid
1,000 (roughly 65,000 baht) per week with 500 extra for each match he
set to leave for Huddersfield 6/11/99
Thailand's top striker Kiatisak
"Zico" Senamuang's dream of playing in England looks like coming
true as he is ready to leave later this month to play for English First
Division club Huddersfield, according to Pol Maj Gen Chetchandra Pravitra,
president of Rajpracha.
Pol Maj Gen Chetchandra said everything
is set and the transfer papers have been received from Huddersfield,
currently third in the First Division.
He added that once a few small details
have been finalised, Kiatisak will be able to go and play in England.
But Kiatisak will have to ask permission
from the Police Department, where he works.
If all goes smoothly, Zico will be the
first Thai play to perform in England and he will be paid 1,000 (Bt63,000)
SOCCER UNDER-17 WORLD
CUP: Fit Thais need good tactics 2/11/99
NATIONAL under-17 team head coach
Somchart Yimsiri said yesterday that Thailand's Fifa World
Championship-bound players were all fit, but he was still concerned about
the squad's poor tactics and technique.
Thailand, who are Asian champions, left
yesterday for New Zealand to take part in the world juniors final from Nov
10 to 27.
The team was seen off at the airport by
Vijit Getkaew, president of the Football Association of Thailand, and
Deputy Communications Minister and team manager Sonthaya Khunpluem.
Somchart said: ''It's a world-class
tournament and we had to make sure our players are best-prepared for the
''As far as I know, our players, when
compared with the other teams, are fit both physically and mentally. But
when it comes to technique, we are still inexperienced. However, I'm
optimistic that our determination and confidence will lead us to
The head coach said he will use
Thailand's warm-up games against New Zealand tomorrow and Paraguay the
following day to assess the team's weak points and try to correct them
before the start of the championship.
* Meawnhile, Shanghai informed the
Football Association of Thailand that they would not be able to field the
senior squad at the Queen's Cup due to a tight schedule at home.
They offered to send their under-21 team,
the newly-crowned junior champions in China, instead, but this was turned
down by the organisers who claimed that the deadline for such a
confirmation lapsed on Sunday.
Four beaten teams in the qualifying round
-- Rajpracha, Bangkok Bank, Krung Thai and Police -- were invited to play
in a knockout play-off, but Krung Thai Bank declined and gave Rajpracha a
Somchai Han-iang scored the lone goal for
Bangkok Bank in the 67th minute to give them a victory over Police
yesterday. They will next meet Rajpracha on either Nov 9 or Nov 11. The
winners will replace Shanghai at the Queen's Cup finals.
Eight teams have already booked their
places in the finals from Nov 18 to 28. They are Thai Farmers Bank
(defending champions), Royal Thai Army (hosts), Hanyang (South Korea),
Royal Thai Air Force, Royal Thai Navy, Telephone Organisation of Thailand,
Osotspa and another team from China.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
UNDER-17Tough task ahead for youngsters 19/10/99
Under-17 team will be sent to the Fifa Under-17 World Championship next
month in New Zealand.
Team manager Sonthaya Khunpluem, Deputy
Minister of Communications and Transportation, said: "We are in the
same group as Mexico, Ghana and Spain and so it will be a very tough
"But I am confident the players will
do well and I would like to see this team become the future national team.
"I hope we can reach the second
round, which is the quarter-finals. The staff coaches say the players are
Head coach Suchart Yimsiri said:
"The only thing that I am worried about is the lack of international
experience of our players and I hope they can handle playing in front of
Thailand will open with a match against
Mexico on November 11. They will play Spain on November 13 and Ghana on
(To be played from November 10 to 27)
Group A: New Zealand, US, Uruguay, Poland
Group B: Ghana, Spain, Mexico, Thailand
Group C: Brazil, Australia or Bahrain,
Mali, Germany (Christchurch)
Group D: Jamaica, Burkina Faso, Paraguay,
PROBABLE THAI SQUAD
Intarat Apinyakul, Suree Suka, Sophon
Nimpolkrang, Kraikriet Beardtaku, Jakrapong Jiesatawong, Wasant Sangphan,
Kittikul Suwannatrai, Songsak Chaisamak, Sureeya Amatawet, Teerathep
Vinothai, Nattapol Waewsingto, Nattaporn Phanrit, Udorn Pimpak, Preecha
Pinpradap, Sakda Jermdee, Pichitpong Chelchiew, Praiwet Wanna, Kosin
THAILAND'S Asian and SEA Games star
Thawatchai Damrong-ongtrakul yesterday signed a deal with Singapore League
side Sembawang that guarantees him a Bt80,000 monthly income.
A representative of the Singapore club
had flown in to see Thawatchai in action during a Caltex Premier League
game on Saturday and offer the midfielder a contract. Thawatchai plays for
While Thawatchai agreed to all terms of
the contract, he refused to join Sembawang next week and make his debut
for the club on Oct 23 when the Singapore Cup matches kick-off.
Club willing to lend
Zico a helping hand 24/9/99
RAJPRACHA Sports Club's manager Col ML
Supridee Pravitra said yesterday he has no intention of spoiling Kiertisak
Senamuang's plans to play professionally in England, but that the star
striker's problem is that ''he does not know how to settle the deal with
an invisible agent''.
''We are very happy to support him in his
bid to play in England. Everything has been prepared, but, sadly, we've
not been contacted at all by [second division] Huddersfield,'' ML Supridee
''We know nothing about the
Huddersfield's decision. Lately, what we have learnt from the media is
that the English club has agreed to increase his wage from PDS 600 per
week to PDS 1,000 per week plus a PDS 500 bonus for each match he plays.
''We have not received any contract from
Huddersfield. There hasn't been even a telephone call from the club. How
can we sign the contract if we haven't even seen it.
''We know that he is the national hero.
We respect his plans. We will be blamed, if we don't help him fulfil his
dream. Unfortunately, our club's name has already been maligned by a
misunderstanding in the media and his fans, although we have been working
very hard to help him.
''Kiertisak himself doesn't understand
what we have done for him. He has never tried to come to see us and we
have also failed to contact him,'' complained the team manager, who is a
son of the club president and founder Pol Maj Gen MR Chetchandra Pravitra.
Kiertisak, nicknamed Zico, on Wednesday
said he would quit Rajpracha if his contract with Huddersfield is not
finalised by the end of this month.
He said: ''I have no contract with
Rajpracha. They signed me from Krung Thai Bank for Bt300,000 many years
ago. That should be enough. Nowadays, I play for them because I had made
them a promise. If the deal with Huddersfield is not settled by the end of
this month, I will no longer play for Rajpracha.''
ML Supridee said: ''We signed him from
Krung Thai Bank, but, as all clubs in Thailand, we are just an amateur
club. We don't have to have any signed contract with the player. He is now
like a person who has been registered in one house. He cannot move out of
the house without the approval of the house owner. That means he cannot
quit the club by himself. If he quits, he is not eligible to play for any
''Indeed, we really want to let him go.
But, unfortunately we don't know how. There has been no intimation from
the other side [Huddersfield].
''We don't mind if he does not want to
play for our club. We know he is a good player and can help the team a
lot. But, we cannot force him to play if he does not want to. We regret
that this entire saga has tarnished the name of the club, which was
established over 30 years ago.
''We don't make any profits from the
club. We spend millions of baht each year from our own pocket on the team.
But, we seemed to get no praise for it. We are getting all the blame
BY PRASERT SRISUEB
Kiertisak threatens to
KIERTISAK Senemuang, the Kingdom's
football ace, declared that he will not play for Ratpracha Sports Club
from October if the club does not permit him to play for English club
Kiertisak said: ''I don't have a contract
with Ratpracha. After the SEA Games, I played for them because of an
earlier promise. I would like to play in England and set an example for
other footballers in the country.''
But Pol Maj Gen MR Chetchandra Pravitra,
the chairman of Ratpracha Sports Club, said Kiertisak has signed a
contract with the club. If Huddersfield wants to buy him, they should pay
Huddersfield said it would increase
Kiertisak's weekly wage from PDS 600 to PDS 1,000 and offered a bonus of
PDS 500 for each match. They also raised the transfer fee from PDS 3,500
to PDS 4,500 which he will receive when he plays 15 matches in two years.
All ready for Provincial
ARRANGEMENTS for the Nov 7 kick-off of
the first Thailand Provincial League have been finalised and PM's Office
Minister Jurin Laksanaviset is confident that the event will be a huge
Twelve provinces have entered the league,
which also kick-starts a government plan to introduce a professional setup
in the local sports.
The winners of the inaugural championship
will earn a cash reward of Bt1 million, while the first and second
runners-up will receive Bt500,000 and Bt200,000 respectively.
Representatives of the Asian Football
Confederation, Football Association of Thailand and Revenue Department
yesterday finalised rules and regulations for the competition.
Each team, which will be required to play
a total of 22 home and away matches, will comprise 25 players and they
will be allowed to hire foreign players, up to a maxium of five. Players
taking part in leagues organised by the Football Association of Thailand
are not allowed to participate in the Provincial League.
However, no decision has been reached on
expansion of the league at the end of its first season on March 9 next
Jurin said he was confident the league
would help initiate a proper professional setup in the country.
The PM's Office Minister said: ''The
government is keen to make the project a success. It will bear all the
expenses incurred by the organisation of the tournament, including the
teams' and officials' expenses.''
According to Jurin's plan, after two
seasons a certain number of the teams from the new Provincial League will
be selected to play the leading sides from the on-going Caltex Premier
League in 2001 in a tournament to be named the ''Super League''.
He advised the participating teams that
they should start forming their own bands of cheering squad and fan clubs.
''Fans are one of the most important factors behind the success of any
sports event or team,'' Jurin said.
The participating teams in the inaugural
Provincial League are from Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sak Ket, Songkhla, Udon
Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri, Bangkok, Satun, Pattani, Chiang Mai,
Nakhon Pathom and Surat Thani.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
match in Nov 10/9/99
THE Football Association of Thailand is
putting together a star-studded cast for an exhibition match on Nov 14 to
celebrate HM the King's 72nd Birthday.
The match, to be played at the
Rajamangala National Stadium, will see a Thai selection take on an Asian
All-Star side, which is expected to be spearheaded by Iran's Germany-based
striker Ali Daie and include Japanese 1998 Asian Player of the Year
The other players who are likely to join
the Al-Star squad are Kazuyoki Miura (Japan), Soi Young-chu (South Korea),
Fan Chiyi (China) and Khalid Owairan (Saudi Arabia).
The Thai selection will mostly comprise
players from the squad that won the gold medal in the 20th SEA Games in
Brunei last month. The association has also invited some former national
stars like Piyapong Pew-on, Natee Thongsukkaew, Vitoon Kijmongkolsak and
Entry to the match will be free, but fans
have been advised to make reservations at the association headquarters at
the National Stadium.
Kiertisak gets 'big
ENGLISH First Division side Huddersfield
has sent a contract for Thailand skipper Kiertisak Senamuang, but the
offer has failed to impress his club officials.
Pol Maj Gen M R Chetchandra Pravitra,
chairman of Kiertisak's club Rajpracha, said yesterday Huddersfield were
offering the star striker a weekly salary of PDS 600 (Bt36,000).
Chetchan said: ''What they are offering
comes to Bt144,000 a month. Zico [Kiertisak's nickname] makes more than
Bt200,000 a month in Bangkok. They would have to offer more than this.
''He gets Bt100,000 for acting as a
presenter to a sports goods manufacturer and then he draws salaries from
the Football Association of Thailand and the club. I think he is better
Chetchan added that the contract also
does not make it clear whether they want Kiertisak on loan or they plan to
own him. ''All these details have to be worked out before he joins
Huddersfield,'' he said.
Kiertisak had an unsuccessful tryout with
the English Premier League club Middlesbrough in July.
players invited to join squad 8/9/99
Seven players, including four from the gold medal-winning SEA Games squad,
have been called in to strengthen Thailand's Olympic soccer team.
The Olympic team's form
has so far been unimpressive and it was felt necessary to include some
more experienced players.
Joining the squad are SEA
Games stars Virach Wangchan, Tongchai Akarapong, Seksan Piturat and
Also new to the squad are
three SEA Games reserves, Panupong Chimpuk, Tanongsak Prajakata and Kanae
Meanwhile plans for the
squad to tour England have had to be cancelled as too many players were
either tied up with academic obligations or were committed to playing in
the Caltex League.
Cash bonanzafor Thai
soccer stars 4/9/99
MEMBERS of the Brunei SEA Games
gold-medal-winning Thai soccer squad and staff coaches were yesterday
rewarded with cash bonuses of Bt200,000 each. Thailand defeated Vietnam
2-0 in the Games final last month.
A sum of Bt5 million was raised in a
campaign by the daily Thai Rath and team manager Virat Chanpanich.
The majority of the side were present at
the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) headquarters at the National
Stadium to collect their rewards in the presence of FAT secretary-general
The players, most of whom own houses and
cars, said they would deposit the money in their bank accounts as it was
the ''wisest course of action in the prevailing economic conditions''.
The three coaches who were awarded
Bt200,000 each are Englishman Peter Withe, Chatchai Paholphaet and Amnart
Chalermchavalit. The remaining sum of Bt800,000 will be distributed among
the handlers and other officials of the Thai squad to the Games.
Speaking on the occasion, Virat said most
of the SEA Games squad would be retained for the Kingdom's campaign for a
place at next year's Asian Cup in Lebanon.
However, Virat added: ''There are bound
to be some changes in the squad. A lot would also depend on how different
players performed during the ongoing Caltex Premier League.
''We may have to bring at least a couple
of new faces to replace wingbacks Dusit Chalermsaen and Krissada Piandit,
who are planning to retire from the national team soon.''
The qualifying tournaments for the Asian
Cup get under way next March. Thailand have been drawn in Group Eight with
Malaysia, North Korea and Taiwan.
Thailand made their Asian Cup finals
debut in 1996 in the United Arab Emirates, where they lost all of their
three first-round matches to eventual winners Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
South African bid
officials seek to win over FAT 1/9/99
A TEAM of South African officials
overseeing their country's bid for the 2006 World Cup yesterday put across
their message in an emphatic manner. They claimed South Africa does not
want the event as ''charity'', but should get it because they deserve it.
South African Ambassador Johann van
Rensburg and Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the SA football
association, yesterday told a press conference they were confident their
country will win the right to stage the world's most popular sports event.
Earlier, the visiting officials had a
meeting with Worawi Makudi, secretary general of the Football Association
of Thailand (FAT) who is also a Fifa voting member, and called on FAT
president Vijit Getkaew.
Jordaan said: ''We had a very positive
and constructive meeting with Mr Worawi during which we discussed
different features of our bid for the 2006 World Cup.
''But we also explored ways to strengthen
the ties between the two soccer associations. We also took the opportunity
to invite them to visit South Africa and see things for themselves.''
Jordaan added that it was time that Fifa
granted the World Cup to Africa.
''We have had 17 World Cups so far, with
Europe staging nine, North America four, South America four and Asia will
have its first in 2002,'' he said.
''It has been Fifa's policy to award the
event to a continent which hasn't had it before. And if we can meet all
the Fifa requirements, then what is the argument that Africa should wait
''Football is a global sport played in
204 countries of the world. We must guard against one centre becoming
stronger than the rest of the world.
''We have all the infrastructure in place
and we have played hosts to a very successful rugby World Cup in 1995 and
the best-ever African Nations Cup in 1996.
''They ask for eight stadiums, we are
offering 13 with capacities from 40,000 to 85,000 and we have a plan to
expand the seating capacity of the FNB Stadium to 110,000. We don't want
the World Cup as charity, we promise a pure profitable venture.''
In a video-recorded message played at the
press conference, South African president Thabo Mbeki said: ''We stand
ready to build upon and deepen the advances that the African continent has
made and to take this sport to a higher level.
''We assure you of a world-class event.
We have the infrastructure, the facilities and the will to make a success
of the biggest show on earth. I promise, you won't be disappointed.''
Former president Nelson Mandela, who is
also the patron of South African bid, dwelt on the past achievements by
his country as a host and expressed optimism that Fifa will consider its
Van Rensburg said: ''For many centuries,
South Africa was a divided country, but things have changed since 1994.
Our government is fully behind the bid because it feels the World Cup will
be a unifying factor, further strengthening unity among the people.
''The world doesn't owe us anything. We
are seeking it because South Africa is capable of doing everything Fifa
wants us to.''
England and Germany are also in the race
for the World Cup, but Jordaan said he was extremely confident that South
Africa will get it. ''Those who love to gamble will tell you that the
British bookies have South Africa as the favourite, followed by England
and Germany,'' he added.
The two other countries bidding to host
the World Cup are Brazil and Morocco. Fifa will vote on July 24 next year
to finalise the host for the 2006 event. The 2002 World Cup will be
co-hosted by South Korea and Japan in 2002.
Brazil team edge Thailand
* In Dhaka, Brazil's Rio de Janeiro
Soccer Federation beat Thailand's Olympic team 1-0 on the fifth day of the
12-nation Bangabandhu Cup football tournament yesterday.
Luiz Henrique headed a corner shot in the
74th minute to send the Thais out of the tournament with two successive
defeats. The first was a 2-7 thrashing at the hands of South Korea on
BY HANIF HASSAN
charge of Pre-Olympic squad 21/8/99
Thailand's national coach Peter Withe has been put in full control of the
pre-Olympic squad as of Monday. The move follows the resignation as coach
of former star Piyapong Pue-On who felt his position had been undermined.
Explaining the action,
Football Association secretary-general Worawi Makudi said there was no
time to waste as the team needed urgent improvement. He noted that the
standard of play in the matches against India was very disappointing.
In a bid to lift
standards, Withe will take the team to England in September and get them
to train with some of the big clubs.
Naraj Muninopamas, Peeratas Porreundee, Udom Jokob, Niwes Siriwong,
Jakrapong Hansuwan, Teerasak Por-Ont, Niruj Surasiang, Bamrung Boonprom,
Pongsak Kongkaew, Isawa Singthong, Issares Pala, Apichet Puttan, Sutee
Suksomkij, Tewew Chanhom, Klisana Wongbutdee, Virat Sanaeha, Kwanchai
Feungprakob and Rangsan Wiwatchaichoke
NATIONAL TEAM: Piyapong
still FAT's favourite 19/8/99
FOOTBALL Association of Thailand (FAT)
secretary-general Worawi Makudi was stunned after receiving a resignation
letter from national Pre-Olympic team head coach Piyapong Pew-on on
The FAT official said the former national
striker Piyapong had misinterpreted the association's announcement last
week that it would select SEA Games coach Peter Withe as technical advisor
to the Olympic squad.
''I honestly don't know the real reason
behind his resignation, but I guess he must have misunderstood that,''
said Worawi as manager of the national team.
''The association never intended to dump
Piyapong. We brought Withe into the team just to get his advice, and in
fact Withe has helped us since the first qualifying-round match against
India last month'' the secretary-general said.
Piyapong on Monday announced that he
would stay out of the team and the squad would be taken over by the
British coach according to the association's recent announcement.
However, Worawi said he would clarify the
matter with Piyapong but would not withhold his resignation if he insisted
''We can thrash out the problem in no
time. At the moment we still have assistant coaches Prapol Pongpanich and
Boonlert Iowcharoen to look after the team,'' Worawi said.
The national Pre-Olympics team has
cancelled its plans to play a warm-up match in China but will compete in a
special tournament in Bangladesh featuring China, South Korea, Japan and
Kazhakstan at the end of this month. The team is also scheduled to have
warm-ups in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham and Manchester.
Meanwhile the FAT extended the contract
of SEA Games coach Withe until next November. The English Football
Association, which oversees the coaching staff, has also agreed to
continue in charge of the Thai squad.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
SEA GAMES FINAL
By Michael Church, Editor AFC News
Thailand returned to the top of South
East Asian football with a gold medal winning performance against Vietnam
in the final of the South East Asian Games in Brunei.
Goals from Thavatchai Ongtrakul and Dusit
Chalermsan sealed Thailand's fourth consecutive Games' title with a 2-0
win over the Vietnamese in front of a packed house in the National Stadium
to finish the decade with an impressive record in regional tournaments.
Thailand have played in all five of the
decade's SEA Games finals, losing to Indonesia in 1991 before going on to
win the next four in a row. They also lifted the inaugural Tiger Cup in
Singapore in 1996 but lost out in the 1998 edition, Vietnam beating them
in the semi-finals 3-0 before losing to Singapore in the final.
"Everything we have done we have
done together," said Thailand's coach Peter Withe after the game.
"We have been under pressure since the tournament started because we
were three time champions. People want to beat you and knock you off your
perch but we battled well for the whole game.
"We still have a little bit of
catching up to do and we are looking at catching up with teams like
Kuwait, Iran, Korea and Japan while the others in South East Asia are
looking to catch up with us and they are catching us very quickly. The
four semi-finalists are pushing each other and that's good for Asian
The Thais had the majority of the play in
the first half, with Sakesan Pituratana and Kiatisuk Senamuang both going
close before Ongtrakul opened the scoring with a thunderous strike from 30
yards in the 39th minute, the midfielder firing home after good build-up
play by Surachai Jattarapatarapong.
Vietnam, though, came back strongly with
Le Huynh Duc just failing to score as the first period went into added
And the Vietnamese continued to press for
the equaliser after the resumption, Nguyen Duc Thang seeing his header of
Nguyen Hong Son's cross sail just over the bar while substitute Nguyen Van
Sy flashed an effort across the face of goal.
The killer strike came with just four
minutes to go. With Vietnam becoming increasingly desperate to equalise,
Dusit struck from the edge of the area, his shot finding the back of the
net as team-mate Kritsada Piandit stepped over the ball.
"It was very difficult for the
keeper to see where the ball was going because Kritsada was in the
way," said Withe, "but it was a fine strike. In training we
recorded the power of some of Dusit's shooting and he was hitting the ball
at 125 kilometres an hour which is fairly hard!"
Indonesia, meanwhile, picked up the
bronze medal in a penalty shoot-out over last year's Tiger Cup champions
Goalkeeper Hendro Kartiko was his
nation's hero after saving spot-kicks from Singapore captain Nazri Nasir
and Rafi Ali as Indonesia won 4-2 following a scoreless draw during 90
"Our goalkeeper made two tremendous
saves and because of that we deserve the medal," said Indonesia's
coach Bernhard Schumm after the game. "We are happy we can go home
with this result. I told the players before the game that even good teams
can lose one game but we can't lose twice and that was our target
Soccer squad keep its
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- The golden boy
and bad boy of Thai soccer combined last night to help the Kingdom put
their reputation as the kingpins of the region beyond any doubts.
Thawatchai Damrong-ongtrakul just can't
seem to get tired of playing the role of hero. His golden goal against
South Korea put Thailand in the 1998 Bangkok Asiad semifinal and yesterday
he netted another that was also worth its weight in gold.
Dusit Chalermsaen, often blamed and
sacked for his errant behaviour, also got on the scoresheet to give
Thailand a 2-0 victory Vietnam in the final at the Hassanal Bolkiah
National Stadium last night.
It is the fourth SEA Games gold on the
trot for Thailand, who have dominated the regional soccer scene like no
other nation has since their triumph at the 1993 Singapore SEA Games.
Thailand's English coach Peter Withe
said: ''We were under a lot of stress because we were the three-time
champs, but the boys stuck together and controlled the game well.
''We have come a long way. We are now
trying to match the likes of Iran, South Korea and Japan while at the same
time the teams from the region are trying to catch us. This is a very
healthy sign for Asian soccer.''
Thailand took the field as favourites and
they were put ahead by a curling long shot by Thawatchai in the 39th
minute. The Vietnamese have themselves to blame for this costly lapse
because Thawatchai was given ample time to execute the shot.
Thailand went on the defensive after
gaining a 1-0 lead. They moved their defenders up a bit and together with
the midfielders they choked the Vietnamese attacks in the midfield. They
carried the advantage into the second half.
The Vietnamese kept ramming into the Thai
defence wall. They could not make any inroads and failed to move up from
the flanks, too.
They only succeeded in putting some
pressure on the Thais in the dying moments of the match, but by then the
Thais were comfortably placed after Dusit netted their second goal in the
85th minute. Indonesia, runners-up at the 1997 SEA Games at home, took the
bronze medal after defeating Singapore 4-2 in penalty shootout following a
goalless draw at time.
Earlier, Peter Velappan, the Asian
Football Confederation (AFC) secretary-general, yesterday implied that AFC
will be pressing for the introduction of an age-limit at the future SEA
Games soccer tournaments.
The SEA Games Federation (SGF) has been
opposed to the idea, saying that the Games was not in jurisdiction of the
AFC to implement its plans.
During a visit to the Main Press Centre
yesterday, Velappan claimed that SGF was right in its contention, ''but we
as the football governing body in Asia know what is best for the game''.
He added that AFC was only trying to play
an advisory role, but added that if SGF remained adamant AFC may not
sanction the SEA Games soccer events in the future and pull back its
Velappan said it was too late to
introduce an age limit at the 2002 Pusan Asian Games, but it would be done
for the next Asiad.
He said: ''The SEA Games should provide a
stage to help develop young players. We have the Asian and World Cups and
I believe that national teams should be concentrating on qualifying for
these major events.''
BY HANIF HASSAN
Thailand tame the Lions
with gutsy performance 13/8/99
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- Thailand's soccer
squad yesterday presented HM the Queen with a splendid present on her
birthday by delivering the promised victory over Singapore in the
Before the start of the match, Olympic
Committee of Thailand chairman Gen Chettha Tanajaro conveyed HM the
Queen's best wishes to the team and said that Her Majesty would be
watching the game on television.
The national soccer side responded with
an impressive 2-0 victory over Singapore which earned them a crack at what
could be their fourth straight gold medal of the SEA Games. They face
Vietnam in the title showdown tomorrow.
The crowd at the main stadium of the
Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex was not befitting the occasion,
but the Thais still made the semifinal a memorable occasion.
Coach Peter Withe was delighted with the
result as he told a crowded post-match press conference: ''It was a great
effort by the team.
''Their exists a great rivalry between
the teams in this region and Singapore are no exception. It was always
going to be a tough match, but we controlled the game well.
''Singapore came on pretty strong in the
first 20 minutes, but then we had an early goal that relieved the players
of a lot of pressure and they started playing better.
''In the second half, we allowed
Singapore space in the midfield and gave them more possession of the ball
than I would have liked. Then Wang [Thawatchai Damrong-ongtrakul] scored a
beautiful goal and regained control of the game.
''The boys were in high spirits today. It
is Mothers Day in Thailand today and they all called up their homes before
the match. Maybe that gave them the enthusiasm.''
Thailand were more attacking than their
rivals and when skipper Kiertisak Senamuang found it hard to score himself
he set one up for Singapore-based midfielder Tawan Sripan in the 20th
The Singaporeans had an opportunity to
get on even terms but their bid for the equaliser in the injury time of
the first half was thwarted by goalkeeper Virat Wangchan.
Singapore's dreams of a place in the
final suffered another jolt in the 85th minute when Thawatchai netted a
beauty of a goal to seal a 2-0 victory for the Thais.
Singapore coach Vincent Subramaniam said:
''We did well in the first 20 minutes, but then conceded the goal. We
tried to score the equaliser, but it only helped Thailand improve their
Vietnam shocked Indonesia 1-0 in their
semifinal yesterday, thanks to a strike by Nguyen Hong Sen. The two
matches were played simultaneously.
Nguyen scored in the 70th minute to send
Vietnam into only their second final in the Games. They last qualified for
the showdown at the 1995 Chiang Mai Games where they lost to hosts
The match was evenly contested and the
Indonesians have only themselves to blame for the defeat. Indonesia were
the more organised side and created more chances but were let down by poor
Indonesia's Uston Nawawi and Bima Sakti,
who played a commanding role in midfield, were threatening but just could
not find the target.
Commenting on Thailand's final match,
team manager Virat Chanpanich said: ''It is going be another tough game
for us. They are a very good team.
''When we played them in the first round
we had spotted some shortcomings in our game. We will be working on them
tomorrow. I hope that Thailand will win the gold medal for a fourth
The first-clash between Thailand and
Vietnam had ended in a goalless tie.
Velappan wants youngsters
* ASIAN football supremo Peter Velappan
yesterday criticised Southeast Asian nations for using full senior squads
at the Brunei SEA Games.
Velappan, general secretary of the Asian
Football Confederation, said although the SEA Games football tournament
was designed for youth teams, the presence of full-strength sides had
helped to create a lop-sided tournament.
''Obviously, the teams of Thailand,
Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam are in one league,'' he said, referring
to the semi-finalists.
''I am happy that the next SEA Games will
be limited to the under-23 sides,'' said the Malaysian, whose country will
host the next Games in 2001.
Velappan said the tournament should be
used ''to encourage more young players, to have them exposed to
This year's SEA Games football
competition has seen many highscoring matches.
Other teams like Burma, Laos, Cambodia,
Malaysia and the Philippines will have to pull up their socks, the Asian
Football Confederation official added.
''So there is no need for national teams
to play. They should aim for the next higher level.''
BY HANIF HASSAN
UNDER-18 UMBRO CUP:
Young Thais walking tall 12/8/99
LONDON -- The ''Bangkok
Select'' team have triumphed in the Under-18 Umbro Cup at this year's
Manchester International Football Festival -- beating Norwegian team
Nordstrand 2-0 in the final recently.
The sixth Manchester
International Football Festival had 400 teams from 20 nations taking part,
making it one of the most prestigious and successful festivals in England.
The festival covered many age groups, varying from Under-11 up to
David Shepherd said: ''When the Bangkok Select team first played in the
Umbro Cup in 1996, we were blessed with one of the best teams seen in the
tournament either before or since -- I was thrilled to have them back.''
The squad also had the
opportunity to visit the 1999 FA Charity Shield match between Arsenal and
Manchester United at Wembley as guests of the English FA. Arsenal won the
The Thai team returned
home and continued their preparation for the Fifa under-17 World
Championship in New Zealand.
BY NICK BARRON
Thailand rout 10-man Burma 8/8/99
Huge win ensures top spot in group A
Thailand's football team clinched top place in Group A of the SEA Games
competition yesterday with a comprehensive 7-0 thrashing of Burma.
The win gave them a far superior goal
difference over rivals Vietnam who earlier could only manage a 2-0 victory
over the Philippines.
It was a convincing display by Thailand
and confirmed their position as favourites for the SEA Games soccer title.
A disappointing Burma side were completely outplayed and never threatened
to create an upset
Cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd of
Thai workers based in Brunei, Thailand took command from the start and it
was only a matter of time before they scored.
As it was, they opened their account in
the 16th minute with a soft goal following a terrible blunder by the
Burmese goalie Myo Hlaing Win who helped palm Tawan Sriphan's rather tame
shot into the back of the net.
Within two minutes Thailand were 2-0 up
when a powerful shot by Tananchai Boriban was deflected past the goalie by
For the remainder of the first half
Thailand continued to dominate play but failed to take their chances.
However Burma found themselves reduced to
10 men just before half time after Win Htaik's received a second yellow
card for a bad tackle.
The teams went in at the interval with
Thailand 2-0 up but it should have been more.
Peter Withe's half-time pep talk seemed
to do the trick and with their numerical advantage the Thai team stepped
up a gear in the second half.
The third goal came in the 63rd minute
when the Burmese goalie failed to hold a long shot and Jatupong Thongsuk
was on hand to stab the ball in from just two yards out.
Ten minutes later it was 4-0 when Dusit
Chalermsaen's long-rate shot was only palmed out by the keeper and
Jatupong squared the ball back for Seksan Piturat who did well to nod the
Two minutes later Seksan added to his
account in the 74th minute when he fired home a beauty following a cross
from Kiatisak Senamuang to make it 5-0.
It was now little more than shooting
practice for Thailand and Jatupong added his second of the night in the
83rd minute when another fierce shot from Dusit was pushed out by the
keeper and Jatupong slammed the ball home.
Captain Kiatisak finally got his name on
the score sheet in the very last minute to round off the scoring 7-0.
After the match Withe said he was pleased
with his side's positive performance and ability to score goalss.
"Our team controlled the match very
well," he said. "It also helped that Burma were reduced to 10
men for the second half."
He said he was not too concerned who
Thailand faced in the semi-final as he felt his side were the best in the
competition and could beat either Singapore or Indonesia.
In the semi-finals Thailand will either
play Indonesia or Singapore depending on the outcome of today's Group B
matches. Indonesia take on Brunei and Singapore play Cambodia.
With both teams on seven points and
wanting to avoid playing Thailand in the semis, Indonesia and Singapore
will be looking for big victories.
Earlier Vietnam defeated the Philippines
2-0 with a brace of goals from Dang Phuong Nam in the 44th and 61st
strikers fail to break Vietnam wall 6/8/99
DEFENDING champions Thailand are on the verge of
securing a place in the semifinals of the 20th SEA Games
soccer competition despite playing a goalless draw against
Vietnam in their Group A match yesterday.
The Kingdom, who scored wins over the Philippines and Laos
in the previous matches, remain on top of the group and,
along with Vietnam, are likely to move into the next round.
Laos and the Philippines, the other two teams in the group,
have to pack their bags and head home as both finished at the
Burma, who with Laos were involved in a close battle which
ended goalless yesterday, should pray for a miracle in their
last round-robin match against Thailand on Sunday. It's a
must-win match for Burma, who have to score five goals to
eliminate the 1997 champion from the competition.
In Group B, Singapore and runners-up Indonesia looked set to
book places in the semifinals while hosts Brunei, Malaysia
and Cambodia have little hopes of moving further.
Thai team manager Virach Charnpanich played down the
draw and said there is no need to press the panic button.
''The team failed to beat Vietnam but that was expected.
There was no pressure on the players to go all out. It was a
strategic match and our players were just sizing up their
rivals,'' he said.
''We are concerned about beating Burma on Sunday to move
into the semifinals. I don't care if we finish first or second in
the group. All we need is a victory in the next match. Our
target is to become champions for the fourth consecutive
time,'' Virach said.
Thailand's attacking game wilted under the solid defence of
the Vietnamese, who scotched every move of Thai players.
Strikers Kiertisak Senamuang and Seksan Piturat were kept
at bay in the entire first half. Thailand's chances of breaking
the deadlock came in the 27th minute when Surachai
Jatupattarapong, who received a pass from Kiertisak, just had
to beat the goalkeeper. But Pham Nhu Thuan appeared from
nowhere and quickly cleared the ball to the utter
disappointment of Thai fans at the Hassanal Bolkiah National
In the second half, Thailand had maximum possession of the
ball but the Vietnamese guarded their citadel in brilliant
Vietnam, who lost to Thailand in the 1995 and 1997 Games,
briefly celebrated a ''goal'' by substitute Dang Phoong Nam in
the 79th minute but the Malaysian linesman had already lifted
his flag to indicate he was offside.
Thailand got a clear opportunity in the last minute. But Krisada
Piandis, from eight yards, made a feeble kick straight into the
hands of Vietnamese goalkeeper Tran Minh Quang.
Country M W D L GF GA Pts
Thailand 3 2 1 0 13 1 7
Vietnam 3 2 1 0 11 0 7
Burma 3 1 1 4 3 4 4
Laos 4 1 1 2 4 15 4
Philippines 3 0 0 3 3 16 0
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Defending champs Thailand lack
REIGNING and three-time champions Thailand yesterday
were far from best when they trounced lowly Laos 4-1 in
the 20th Brunei SEA Games soccer competition at the
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium packed with adoring
After overwhelming Filipinos 9-0 in the Group A opener,
the Kingdom's squad went into the field with their heads
high. Powered by star striker Kiertisak Senamuang, who
scored four goals in the opener, the team comprises
goalie Chaiyong Khampiam, Krissada Piendis, Chukiart
Noosalung, Chokethawee Promrat, Surachai Jirasirichote,
Dusit Chalermsaen, Tawan Sripan, Anurak Srikerd,
Thongchai Akkarapong and Voravudh Srimaka.
The Thais attacked from the opening whistle, but the
Laotians, who relied on solid defence and long passes,
counter-attacked in several occasions.
Thailand kept on pressing and got breakthrough in the
20th minute when Tawan slammed home a right-foot drive
from 25 yards after receiving a pass from Anurak.
Although the Thais were hoping to score more goals, but
found their rivals' a tough nut to crack.
After the break, the Thais changed their strategy relying on
short passes which handed Laotians several golden
opportunities to launch waves of attack.
Thailand scored the second in the 73rd when Dusit
volleyed for substitute Jatupong Thongsuk who headed to
the front of the Laos' goal as Chokethawee seized the
chance, netting from six yards.
The Kingdom's players found another net just two minutes
later. Seksan Piturat, replacing Thongchai, passed to
Jaturong, who swiftly planted for Kiertisak to head home
and widened the gap to 3-0.
Thailand drove in the final nail in the 84th minute with a
spectacular header by Seksan, off a pass form Kiertisak.
The game seemed to end with a 4-0 scoreline in favour of
the Kingdom's squad, but something went wrong in the
team just in the last minute before the time.
Bounmy Thamavongsa upended the Thai sweeper
Chukiart Noosalung before passing it to Bounlap
Khenkitisack, who chipped the ball into the Thai net. The
Laotians were jubilant as if they have won the match.
However, it was the Thai squad who won the match,
beating Laos 4-1 to go atop the Group A with six points.
After the match, Thai national team manager Virach
Charnpanich revealed that the team played below their
standard. However, they still have to play two matches
including -- Aug 5 against Vietnam and Burma on Aug 8.
Head coach Peter Withe was also not happy with the
Thais' performance yesterday, saying that the players did
not live up to his expectations.
''They did not play well today [yesterday]. If they play like
this, I don't think they will survive early rounds,'' said Withe.
In the other match, Burma demolished the Philippines by
the same 4-1 margin.
Group A Standing
Team P W D L F A Pts
Thailand 2 2 0 0 13 1 6
Vietnam 1 1 0 0 9 0 3
Burma 1 1 0 0 4 1 3
Laos 2 0 0 2 1 1 3
Philippines 2 0 0 2 1 1 3
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Soccer players told
not to be overconfident 01/7/99
EVEN though Thailand overwhelmed the
Phillipines 9-0 in the opening match of the Brunei SEA Games soccer
competition on Friday, the players were told not to be overconfident and
careless in their second match against Laos today.
After clearing an easy obstacle, the 18-member Thai team, under the close
supervision of team manager Virach Charnpanich and head coach Peter Withe,
trained for two hours yesterday.
After the practice session, Virach told reporters a couple of Thai players
had been injured during the match and Withe had suggested that they rest for
the match against Laos.
''Withe advised that midfielder Thanunchai Boriban and stopper Surachai
Jirasirichote should rest. Captain Kiertisak Senamuang is fit and raring to
go. He has already recovered from his rib injury. I don't think it will
affect him tomorrow,'' Virach said.
Withe said the team would play a 3-3-2 format against Laos. ''Virach
Wangchan will be in goal. Chukiart Noosalung, Pattanapong Sripramote and
Chokethawee Promrat will be the three defenders, Krissada Piendis and Dusit
Chalermsaen will play as backs, and Thawatchai Damrong-ongtrakul, Tawan
Sripan and Anurak Srikerd will man the midfield.
''We will rest Surachai Jaturaphattarapong and Thongchai Akkarapong for
today's match. Kiertisak and Voravudh Srimaka will be fielded in the first
half, and Jatupong Thongsuk will replace Kiertisak in the second.''
Virach and Withe yesterday watched four teams in Group B play at the stadium
where runners-up Indonesia edged Cambodia 1-0 and Singapore outplayed
''I watched the four teams play. They did not impress me. If any of those
teams meets us in the semifinals, I'm sure we will beat them easily.
However, I don't think our players will be complacent or careless in any
match,'' Virach said.
Meanwhile, Vijit Getkaew, president of the Football Association of Thailand
(FAT), said he expected Thai players to do their best in all the matches,
while Withe was told to devise a game plan for the encounter against Laos.
''We have to make the best possible plan, but more importantly we have to
score as many goals as possible so that it won't cause us any problem in the
following rounds. To make sure we beat Laos today, I told Withe to set up a
good plan for the match,'' Vijit said.
n The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has relegated Piyapong Pew-on
to assistant coach of the Pre-Olympic squad and appointed Peter Withe to
coach the young players instead.
After a dismal performance in the first round of the Olympic qualifying,
Piyapong was sacked because of ''his lack of international experience of
In the second round, Thailand was drawn in the same group with Japan and
Kazakhstan. They have to win at least three out of their six home-and-away
round-robin matches to book a place for the Sydney Olympics, and Piyapong
was judged to be incapable of doing it.
Vijit Getkaew, FAT's president, said: ''I hope he will understand and not be
disappointed. It is apparent that Withe is more suited to this important
The young squad will fly to England to train with Aston Villa, Withe's old
club, in early September before flying directly to Japan to play the opening
match against the host on Oct 2.
''We have a big budget for this campaign. We really hope our dream will come
true this time,'' Vijit said.
Withe's contract expires in October, but the FAT will offer him a new one.
The details have not yet been revealed.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Thailand begin with a
9-0 triumph 31/7/99
Indonesian ace fails dope test, booted out
Thailand began their defence of the SEA Games football title in sparkling
style yesterday when they crushed the Philippines 9-0 in the opening
match of the tournament in Brunei.
Leading the rout was Thailand's star centre-forward Kiatisak
Senamuang who slammed in four goals as the Thai side completely
outclassed a poor Philippine team.
Although the opposition was weak, Thailand's English coach Peter Withe
could be well satisfied at his team's positive approach in their opening
However, they will find Burma and Vietnam, who are also in their group,
much stiffer opposition than the Philippine team which was lucky to keep
the scoring down to single figures.
Vietnam sounded out their own warning when they also hammered Laos
9-0 in the other group match played yesterday.
Cheered on by 10,000 Thai spectators working in Brunei, it took the
Thai side only six minutes to open their account when Anurak Srikerd
stormed through the leaky Filipino defence to slam the ball in the back of
Thailand continued to totally dominate play, but for nearly half an hour
they were thwarted by desperate defending. They also fell into the offside
trap too often, being caught eight times in the first half.
However in 34th minute Surachai Jirasirichote was tripped in the penalty
area and Kiatisak made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Four minutes later Kiatisak collected a second goal and his easiest of the
match when he headed in from close range after the Philippine keeper
failed to cut out a cross.
The teams went in at the interval with Thailand leading 3-0.
Withe's half-time pep talk certainly seemed to work as Thailand came
storming out in the second half, scoring two goals in the opening two
minutes. Both Surachai and Seksan Piturat, with a great individual effort,
found the back of the net with the Philippine team in total disarray.
Kiatisak notched his hat-trick in the 64th minute after beating the offside
trap and the score remained 6-0 until five minutes before the end when
Thailand finished with a flourish.
In the 85th minute Choktawee Promrat made it 7-0 and in the 89th
substitute Voravudh Srimaka rose above the Filipino defence to score
from a fine header.
Kiatisak completed proceedings just before the final whistle with another
header to notch his fourth goal of the match and make the final scoreline
After the match Withe said he was pleased with his team's positive
attitude but noted they would face much tougher opponents in Vietnam
There was some concern over Kiatisak who picked up a rib injury, but it
was not thought to be serious.
Thailand's next match is against Laos tomorrow.
uIn Jakarta-Indonesia's young ace striker Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto has
been barred from playing in the Indonesian football team at the Brunei
Games after failing a dope test, reports said yesterday.
"It is better that this thing is discovered now than in Brunei,"
chairman of the Indonesian National Sports Committee (Koni), Arie
Sudewo, was quoted by the Berita Buana evening daily as saying.
Kurniawan and another player whose identity was not revealed, tested
positive in pre-competition dope tests carried out by Koni ahead of the
Berita Buana quoted sources in Koni as saying that the doping tests,
carried out in June and again this month, found traces of amphetamines in
Kurniawan's urine samples.
confident of retaining title28/7/99
Withe delighted with fitness, preparation
Reigning SEA Games champions Thailand will
leave for Brunei tomorrow
and will start the defence of their title on Friday against the Philippines.
The soccer tournament starts eight days before the 20th SEA Games
officially open on August 7. The Games finish on August 15.
The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has finalised the 18-man squad
for Brunei and after considerable debate defender Thanongsak Prajakkata was
the unlucky player to be dropped from the provisional roster.
Thai head coach Peter Withe said: "It was hard to cut down the squad to
18 players and to get the right balance between attack and defence.
"The team is fully prepared for the task of defending the SEA Games
in terms of fitness and tactical awareness.
"Every player has been training hard and we have a well-balanced squad
of players, any of whom can play in the first 11."Thailand are in the
group as the Philippines, Vietnam and Burma.
"We have got videotapes of our opponents in action and we have
studied their tactics," added Withe.
"But it is more important for us to concentrate on ourselves and on
improving our weak points.
"That is what we were doing in the recent games against Notts County
and Uzbekistan."Team manager Virat Charnpanich said: "Originally
we had been thinking of dropping a midfielder from the squad but in the end
we decided it was better to cut down the defenders.
"We have analysed all the other teams but the most important thing is
concentrate on getting three points from each match and not worry too
much about how many goals we score and other matters."
SEA GAMES SQUAD
Chaiyong Kampiem, Virat Wangchan, Kritsada Piendit, Pattanapong
Sripramote, Choketawee Promrat, Chukiet Nusalung, Surachai
Jirasirichote, Surachai Jaturapattarapong, Anurak Srikerd, Tawan Sripan,
Thawatchai Dumrong-ongtrakul, Jatupong Thongsuk, Kiatisak Senamuang
(captain), Voravut Srimaka, Thongchai Akkarapong, Tananchai Boriban,
Dusit Chalermsaeng, Seksan Piturat
just good for hosts 22/7/99
A BRACE of goals from Kiertisak Senamuang
powered hosts Thailand to a magnificent 4-1 victory over
Notts County in a friendly match at the National Stadium.
Just two minutes from the opening whistle, Thailand drew
the first blood when Kiertisak received the ball from
Surachai Jaturattanapong before firing an easy goal for a
But the visitors found an equaliser eight minutes later after
Mark Warren headed home a 10-metre cross from Dennis
As the Kingdom relied mostly on midfielders, Notts County
counted much on both wings. However, the attack from the
British team appeared to have wilted under the tropical
heat at the arena.
In the 24th minute, a Kiertisak's attempt was blocked by
the Notts County defence which saw the ball bounce to
Sakesan Pituratana who seized the opportunity to find the
net. Thailand jumped to a 2-1 lead.
From then, Notts County's high hopes to level the score
faded away after home players deliberately slowed down
the game until the first half.
In the 54th minute, Surachai Jirasirichote produced a
splendid pass to Sakesan, who suddenly struck home with
an exceptional left-foot shot to widen the gap 3-1.
Cheered by the partisan crowd at the venue, the Thai
squad continued their domination with striker Kiertisak
and Jatupong Thongsukh taking a brilliant offensive
combination before Kiertisak created a fine shot from the
penalty area to end the visitors' challenge 4-1.
The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Vijit
Getkaew was overjoyed after the victory.
''The way our players performed today was exceptionally
well. They really lived up to my expectation'' said the FAT
leader, who was even more confident of Thai chances to
win the SEA Games gold medal for third consecutive time.
''If they can continue this level of performance, they should
not miss the gold medal in this SEA Games'' Vijit added.
Meanwhile, FAT will announce the names of 18 players for
the Brunei Games on July 23. Most players who competed
against Notts County yesterday are expected to be in the
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Indians find Thai
boots hard 18/7/99
SUPHAN BURI -- Thailand's national pre-Olympics
team took a step closer to the second round of Olympic
qualifying by defeating India 2-0 in the home-leg match of the
Asian Zone Group 9 yesterday.
Only two teams, Thailand and India, are left in the group as
the other teams, Singapore, Brunei and Laos, have pulled out.
Thailand fulfilled their ambition of beating India by a margin of
two goals in their home match, so that they can take the away
game in India on July 24 lightly. ''I am happy with the way my
boys played today. They did quite well and met our target of a
two-goal margin. It made our task easy, and they can play
without any care or burden on their shoulders in the away
leg,'' said national-team coach Piyapong Pew-on after the
Playing before 30,000 cheering fans at the Suphan Buri
provincial stadium, the Thai team put the visiting Indians under
pressure right from the start of the game. However, all their
aggressive moves failed to penetrate the solid Indian defence
throughout the first half, which ended scoreless.
India had a chance to break the deadlock in the 17th minute of
the first half when Hardeep Singh Sanga made a beautiful
pass to Dipendu Biswas, who was alone inside the penalty
box. Unfortunately Biswas' shot was blocked by goalkeeper
India's rock-solid defence was torn apart two minutes into the
second half when brilliant right back Apichet Pudtan made a
perfect cross from the right flank for the speedy striker,
Bamrung Boonprom, who bulged the Indian net with a superb
The agile Indian goalkeeper, Kalyan Chaubey, failed to reach
Apichet's cross, thus making it easy for Bamrung, who
rushed in to head the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
Inspired by rabid fans and a one-goal advantage, the Thai
boys put more thrust into their attacking game and searched
for more goals. Their relentless attempts paid off in the 76th
minute when Niruj Surasiang picked up a loose ball from an
Indian defender and triggered a shot from 20 yards to beat the
hapless Indian custodian.
India worked hard in the last 10 minutes of the game to
salvage some pride. On two occasions they were on the brink
of scoring. Lokram James Singh made a powerful 20-yard
shot which went wide of the left post in the 82nd minute, and
Mahesh Gauwli's attempt with a header on an the empty goal
in the 87th was cleared by the agile defender, Chakrapong
''We were at a disadvantage in all respects both on and off the
field. However, we won't be crestfallen at the loss. We have
full confidence that we can beat the Thai team by the same
margin on our home soil and force a tie-breaker,'' India's
coach Sanker Prased Moitra said after the match.
Meanwhile Vijit Getkaew, president of the Football Association
of Thailand, said he was happy with the outcome of the
match. ''Two goals is not a small margin, and I feel it is
enough to keep them at bay. We shall have to concentrate
more when we play them in India in the second leg. Certainly
they will put us under tremendous pressure, and we have to
cope with it. Our boys have to rise to the occasion,'' he said.
The winners of Group 9 will play Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in
the second round of Asian Zone qualification.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
KIERTISAK Senamuang failed to qualify for
team yesterday as he did not have a temporary transfer
certificate from his Ucom Rajpracha club.
The Thai star was told by deputy team manager Viv Anderson
to call it a day in the trial after failing to show the certificate to
Anderson was quoted by a Thai reporter in England that it was
useless for Kiertisak to be in the trial without any approval
document from his club.
Besides, Kiertisak was not even included in the team for
tomorrow's warm-up match against Hartlepool.
A Rajpracha official yesterday said the club was not contacted
by Kiertisak for any approval, besides it has no intention of
rejecting a player going for a trial.
Meanwhile, the national Pre-Olympic team suffered a setback
before their clash with India yesterday when team captain
Nivet Siriwong suffered intestinal pain, forcing coach Piyapong
Pew-on to reshuffle his players.
While the team was undergoing light training yesterday at the
Suphan Buri stadium, stopper Nivet complained of serious
stomach ache and was rushed to Pornchai hospital.
However, the doctor said he should recover by today and
return for light practice. However, there is no guarantee that
Nivet would be able to play against India tomorrow.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Team for Olympic
THE Football Association of Thailand
the list of 18 players for an Olympic qualifier against India this
Friday in Suphan Buri.
Coach Piyapong Pew-on, a former national striker, said after
revealing the names that he was confident of Thai chances of
beating India in both the home and away matches.
The national side yesterday outclassed the Suphan Buri junior
team 4-0 in their final warm-up.
''Actually I did not take today's match seriously, as I only
wanted to test my players. I was satisfied with the way the
boys played,'' said Piyapong.
The national coach has seen video tapes of the Indian team
and accepted that the visitors could not be underestimated,
especially their aggressive forwards.
''However, I've worked out a game plan for the match, though I
can't spill the beans now. Our team need to score as many
goals as possible so that they will be out of pressure in the
away match [on July 24],'' Piyapong said.
However, there is a fear of a jinx at the Suphan Buri Stadium,
the ground for the pre-Olympic match between Thailand and
Japan five years ago which ended with a humiliating 5-0 loss
by the Kingdom's squad.
''Personally, I don't believe in that sort of thing. I believe my
team will beat the Indians with the same score. Whenever I go
to Suphan Buri I succeed, and I don't think there'll be any
difference this time,'' the national coach said.
The Pre-Olympics players are Watcharapong Klaharn,
Panuwat Tanganurat, Nivet Siriwong, Jakkrapong Hansuwan,
Sombat Chomchaipon, Apichet Puutarn, Niroot Surasiang,
Isares Pala, Pirathat Poruendee, Thirasak Po-on, Bamroong
Boonprom, Pongsak Kongkaew, Suthee Nuliam, Krisana
Wonbutdee, Theves Janhorm, Suthee Suksomkij, Manit
Noivet and Asawa Singthong.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Kiartisak gets trials
LOCAL striker Kiartisak Senamuang is to fly to
month for trials with premiership club Middlesbrough.
The Thai star will undergo a two-week test from July 5. If he
passes, team coach and ex-Manchester United captain Bryan
Robson may want to sign him.
Robson decided to call Kiartisak in for trials after seeing him
play in videos supplied by Pongsak Pol-anun, CEO of Siam
''This is a great honour and a big opportunity for me. I always
dreamed of becoming a professional player one day,'' said
Kiartisak, who has helped Thailand win the SEA Games gold
medal three times since 1993.
''I have played in many matches against famous teams and
I'm relatively confident about my ability,'' said the No 1 soccer
star, who also spearheaded the Kingdom's team which beat
Arsenal 4-3 in a friendly match last month.
Kiartisak is the second local player to have trials with the
north-eastern English club. Former national player Netipong
Srithong-in also went for trials with the team three years ago
''Netipong was about to quit the national squad and was not in
good shape at all when he went for trials. I'm quite fit and
should have a good chance of being taken on,'' the national
soccer star said.
Kiartisak is so determined to do well in the test that he has
been doing intensive training with Football Association of
Thailand (FAT) coaches before he leaves Bangkok on July 3.
He's also been studying spoken English.
National coach Peter Withe commented that Kiartisak has the
ability to do well, but still needs to put in a lot of work.
''He has the talent and the ability, but I would say that at the
moment he is only 60 per cent ready for the trial. He needs to
devote more time to practising if he really wants to pursue
professional soccer as a career,'' Withe said.
According to Pongsak, a Middlesbrough player will receive a
minimum wage of PDS 5,000 a week. However, considering
Kiartisak's qualifications, if he is taken he will earn around
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
FIFA U-17 WORLD
CHAMPIONSHIP NEW ZEALAND '99: RESULTS OF FINAL DRAW 15/6/99
Zurich, 14 June 1999 - The final draw for
the FIFA U-17 World Championship held
today at the Sky Theatre in Auckland (New Zealand) produced the following
Group A: NewZealand, USA, Uruguay, Poland Venue:
Auckland North Harbor
Group B: Thailand, Spain, Ghana,
Mexico Venue: Napier
Group C: Brazil, Australai or Bahrain,
Germany, Mali Venue: Christchurch
Group D: Jamaica, Burkina Faso, Paraguay,
Qatar Venue: Dunedin
keeps Thais in good humour 14/6/99
NOW that his job as the president of Fifa is
over, Joao Havelange, it appears, is preparing himself for the job of a
Brazilian ambassador in some strategically less important country.
The former Fifa president yesterday spoke like a veteran diplomat at a press
conference at a local hotel as he refused to take any stand on any of the
issues raised by the members of the local media.
Havelange, who held the office of Fifa president for 24 years before
retiring last year, arrived yesterday to attend a four-nation tournament to
celebrate HM the King's 72nd Birthday.
The tournament starts on Wednesday when the hosts face Oceania champions New
Zealand and Poland meet a selection of the Brazilian league at the
Rajamangala National Stadium. The final and third-place playoffs are
scheduled to be held on Saturday.
While much was expected from the former world soccer leader, Havelange
refused to offer his personal opinion even on a trivial matter like the
Brazilian team's chances in the four-nation tournament, the question
answered by one of the members of his entourage.
However, Havelange did a great job in reciting eulogies for the Football
Association of Thailand [FAT] officials which had its president Vijit
Getkaew and secretary-general Worawi Makudi grinning throughout the
Havelange said he felt that South east Asian countries were capable of
staging the World Cup in the future if they can bring the available
facilities to match Fifa standards.
''There are no big or small countries in football. Any country can apply to
play host to the World Cup,'' he said.
He added that if Fifa policy of rotating the World Cup to different
continents was followed, the 2006 World Cup should be staged in Africa, but
''now that there are six countries in the running, there will be a vote.''
South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, England, Germany and Brazil are all
seeking to host the 2006 World Cup.
Answering a question regarding a pullout threat issued by the Asian Football
(AFC) Confederation if the number of Asian countries at the 2002 World Cup
was not increased to four teams apart from hosts South Korea and Japan, he
said: ''It is up to the Fifa board to decide. An increase in the Asian quota
would affect that of the other continents
and they may not take it lightly.''
Regarding the Thai bid to become Fifa's centre for football development in
East Asia, he said: ''The Thai association has capable officials and I am
sure they have all the needed facilities to be the centre. The association
[FAT] should work out a proposal and submit it to the Fifa board.'' He
advised FAT that it should first concentrate on developing its youth squads
so that they are able to match the best in the world. ''This would
automatically improve the standard of their future national teams.''
Havelange also promised to help FAT in bringing the full Brazilian national
team to Thailand. ''They should contact the Brazilian association and I will
try my best to help the Thai people's dream of seeing the international
Brazilian stars in action here in Thailand come true.''
BY HANIF HASSAN
Thai team to face Kiwis 3/6/99
THAILAND'S national soccer team, in preparation for the
Aug 7-15 Brunei SEA Games, will play in a quadrangular
tournament at the Rajamangala National Stadium on June
16 and 19.
Four teams will participate in the two-day meet -- Brazil
All-Stars, the Polish Euro 2000 Qualifying Round
Preparatory team, Oceania champions New Zealand and
hosts Thailand, successive three-time SEA Games
In a press conference at the Radisson Hotel yesterday,
Vijit Getkaew, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT)
president, said a knockout format will be used in the first
round tussles on June 16, with Thailand facing New
Zealand at 5.30pm and Brazil coming up against Poland
in the second match at 8 pm.
Both the third-place play-off and final will take place on
June 19, starting at 4 pm. Channel 3 will televise both
Vijit said: ''I think that the tournament will be beneficial for
the Thai team before they head to Brunei on July 26 for the
20th SEA Games. I'm convinced our team will retain the
title. However, if we fail to do so, I'm willing to claim
''In addition, it will be a great honour for the FAT to
welcome former Fifa president Joao Havelange to the
Kingdom on July 13. At 7 pm on the same day, we will be
considering a Thai bid for the Olympics. As something of
a sporting messiah, I hope that he will give our prospects
a boost,'' he added.
Meanwhile, national team manager Virach Charnpanich
expressed confidence in both his senior players and
young stars, and claimed the Thai team will retain the SEA
Games title one more time.
''The senior players who have lost their places in the team
will be given a chance to regain their form. Thawatchai
Damrong-ongtrakul, for instance, is recuperating from a
right leg injury. If he can prove that the injury will soon heal,
and he is fit enough, we will recall him. Unfit centre-half
Nathee Thongsukkaew will also be given a chance to
prove his form,'' Virach claimed.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Thailand aim for World Cup after farce of
By Chris Johnson
BANGKOK, May 26 - Nine months after they were banned for trying -- and
failing -- to lose a farcical soccer match against Indonesia, Thailand are
developing a new reputation as a team to watch.
Last Saturday, the national team beat English league runners-up Arsenal 4-3
in a friendly that took plenty of Thai supporters and Arsenal's French
manager Arsene Wenger by surprise.
Arsenal may have been winding down after another tiring season but the Thais
needed few favours to snatch a well-deserved victory.
Thai soccer is improving rapidly and the national squad has been transformed
from laughing stock to a well-organised team tipped to win the regional
tournament at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Brunei in August.
They are also likely to be strong contenders in the battle for an Asian
qualifying place in the 2002 World Cup -- something that looked quite out of
the question last year.
In August, Thailand played Indonesia in the regional Tiger Cup with both
sides hoping to lose in order to avoid favourites Vietnam at home in Hanoi
in the semifinals.
With the match level at 2-2 in injury time, Indonesian player Mursyid
Effendi turned and shot into his own net, past a goalkeeper who made no
attempt to save the shot and Thai players trying to guard the Indonesian
Neither team had tried a shot on goal in the first half.
The fiasco prompted the resignation of the Thai management team and
forecasts that Thai soccer would never recover when the country was banned
by Asia's governing body in September.
But the disaster was a turning point, with Thailand's ban subsequently
lifted on appeal.
Just four weeks before Bangkok hosted the Asian Games in December, Thai
football's governing body did a deal with the English Football Association
to get the services of former England international Peter Withe as coach.
Withe set to work, instilling in the team a desire to win and the tactical
skills needed to play at the highest level.
"Peter Withe has added another dimension to the team and our tactics
are improving," said Kiattisak Senamuang, Thailand captain and the
striker who scored twice against Arsenal.
"We are using more brain now, passing more and working together. The
coach has got us running non-stop. He just says 'Keep it going'," he
Withe has built camaraderie by demanding more commitment from players and
has whipped up patriotic enthusiasm.
"Withe has added team spirit and enthusiasm. He has a very good
knowledge of the game and tactically they are getting much better,"
said Roger Crutchley, sports editor of Thailand's main English language
daily, the Bangkok Post.
The new attitude paid off at the Asian Games where the Thai team made full
use of home advantage to b eat 1998 World Cup finalists South Korea 2-1 in
the quarter finals, despite being down to nine men.
"They came from behind and scored in the last few minutes,"
Crutchley remembers. "Withe was there, pacing up and down the touch
line, urging, willing them on and they scored."
Crutchley says Thai players have the necessary skills but need to overcome a
natural disadvantage -- their size.
"Thailand played Saudi Arabia a few years ago and the tallest Thai was
smaller than the shortest Saudi. With a few more pounds and a few more
inches, you could do more with the team," he said.
But Withe argues Thais have other advantages.
"Size isn't everything. The Japanese have adapted and other Asian
countries have. There is no reason why they can't develop the game to suit
themselves," he told Reuters.
"Asian players have other attributes. They are very supple. Compared to
English players in a stretch test, they'd be streets ahead. Flexibility is
important because if you are going to volley a ball four feet in the air,
you have got to make sure you can
get your foot up there," he said.
Kiattisak, 1.71 metres tall, whose trademark after scoring is a flambuoyant
back flip, agrees: "The Thai team is smaller, but it is very fast.
Besides, lots of great players are small," he said.
Thailand's next test will be a tournament involving Brazil, Poland and New
Zealand in Bangkok in June.
With luck and strong commitment, Withe says Thailand have a chance of
qualifying for the 2002 World Cup.
"My ambition is to take Thailand to the World Cup. You only have to
look at South Korea to see it can be done...No one dreamed an Asian team
would play in the World Cup and all of a sudden there are five or six
teams," he said.
"It's all about commitment -- if you go out thinking you can win,
anything is possible."
Wenger was made aware of that last Saturday.
"We had a slow start and when we woke up we were two nil down," he
told Reuters. "In fairness they played very well and were very
motivated. They were very committed."
U-17 World Championship Draw on 14 June in Auckland
The Final Draw for the 5th FIFA U-17 World Championship New Zealand '99 will
be held on Monday, 14 June in Auckland.
The Sky City Theatre will provide the stage for the ceremony that is due to
start at 8.15 pm.
The 16-team final tournament will be played from 10 to 27 November 1999 in
Splendid Thailand spike the guns of Arsenal
MANCHESTER United had only dashed Arsenal's title
dreams, but a determined Thai national team dealt an
even bigger blow -- they dented the English giant's pride.
Thailand, thanks to a brilliant performance by skipper
Kiertisak Senamuang, upset the Gunners 4-3 in a friendly
match at the Rajamangala National Stadium yesterday.
The match attracted a crowd of more than 50,000 but
most of them were disappointed by a lacklustre show put
up by Arsenal in the first half which saw them fire blanks
most of the time.
The Gunners kept intact the despicable tradition of visiting
English Premier League sides performing well below their
best. Arsenal never played to their potential yesterday and
were rightly punished by the Thais.
Considering the huge cost of the match -- Arsenal
received Bt13 million for the friendly -- it was a big waste.
Arsenal's French coach Arsene Wenger offered a typical
excuse of a beaten side after the match. ''We are here on
a tour after the English season. I am not disappointed by
the result,'' he said.
Thailand took the initiative and went two-up in the first 10
minutes, catching the Arsenal defence off guard.
The first goal came in the fifth minute when England
goalkeeper David Seaman deflected an angular shot by
Seksan Piturat to the far post and Thongchai Akrapong
booted the rebound into the goal.
Five minutes later, Thailand produced a Manchester
United-like set-piece move when Kiertisak headed in a
perfect Krissada Piandit chip from the right.
Arsenal succeeded in pulling one back before the halftime
when Frenchman Emmanuel Petit headed home a cross
from Fredrik Ljungberg in the 30th minute.
Arsenal lost two players in the first half when central
defender Martin Kweon and Patrick Viera, both limping off
The visitors played marginally better in the second half, but
once again it was Thailand who succeeded in drawing the
first blood with Seksan netting the goal in the 47th minute.
Then Nigerian international Nwakano Kanu, who was
voted man of the match for Arsenal, hit form and was
unstoppable. He reduced the margin in the 49th minute on
a pass from Kaba Diawara.
Kanu had more in store for the Thai fans as he helped
Arsenal even at 3-3 three minutes later when he was set
up by Luie Boa Morte following a bad clearance by
The home team winner came three minutes from time
when the Thai man of the match Kiertisak pounced on a
loose ball inside the box and planted it into the net.
Wenger was full of praise for Kanu and Kiertisak after the
match. ''If we had Kanu from the start of the last season we
would have won the Premier League title,'' he said.
He also commended the Thai team's performance. ''They
were very committed. Now that they have gained the
experience and a good result, they should try develop their
Peter Withe, coach of the Thai national team, said: ''I am
not surprised that Arsenal lost today. They played a match
against Malaysia a few days ago and must have been
''Our team did very well today and I see it as a very good
result for them before they defend their title at the Brunei
The 20th SEA Games will be staged in August this year
and the Thai team start training for the event on June 10.
BY HANIF HASSAN and
CLICK HERE for more news about Super Match
Wales cry off from
4-nation tournament 5/5/99
WALES have pulled out of a four-nation
tournament scheduled for June to celebrate the 72nd Birthday of HM the King.
Football Association of Thailand (FAT) secretary general Worawi Makudi said
yesterday that the Welsh federation had conveyed their decision by fax on
Monday. Wales say they will not be able to put a team together for the
tournament as they have to release the players to their respective clubs
after the Euro 2000 qualifiers in June.
The withdrawal should come as a big disappointment for the local fans of
Manchester United's Welsh star Ryan Giggs.
Worawi said the vacant spot would be filled by Poland, who have ''promised
to bring the same squad that is participating in the Euro 2000 qualifiers''.
The two other sides taking part in the tournament, which will take place on
June 16 and 19 at the Rajamangala National Stadium, are Oceania champions
New Zealand and a selection of Brazilian league players. The Brazilian
selection will be accompanied by former Fifa president Joao Havelange.
Worawi added that a decision as to which team would host the first game of
the home-and-away Asia group nine qualifying matches for the 2000 Olympic
Games between Thailand and India wouldl be taken on May 26. The two matches
have been cheduled for July 17 and 24.
Taunted, trained and
ready to go 24/4/99
DURING the last week, 20 footballers were chosen to represent Thailand in
the Sydney Olympics Asia Zone qualifiers, each one determined to avenge
Thailand's stunning 5-0 defeat in the opening match of the 1995 Atlanta
Olympiad qualifying tournament.
Although Thailand managed to get their act together in the following
matches, the defeat dashed any chance they had of making it to the Atlanta
The team's failure
was, of course, the country's failure, and since the squad was known locally
as the dream team, each goal was like a knife in Thai hearts. The
outcome of the last qualifying tournament left Thai football in a depression
which it has only just started to come out of.
Although cynics may suggest that the present bunch can't do any worse, a lot
of time and money has already been spent on making sure that this years'
qualifiers have a more positive outcome for the Kingdom.
In fact, training for this year's Asia Zone Group nine matches started as
long ago as Jan 6, when 32 outstanding players reported to the FAT office.
Although Thailand's preperations have gone well, the country recieved a
setback when the tournament date was suspended when Laos withdrew from the
meet, claiming economic dificulties would make it impossible for them to
send a team.
Shortly after, India launched a bid to co-host the tournament, whereby a
two-legged round-robin competition would be held in Thailand and India.
However, the two countries reached a compromise when the Asian Football
Confederation (AFC) decided that the Kingdom was a more suitable host.
Still, the tournament was postponed until July.
Calamity was now on every corner, for Singapore and Brunei declared their
intention of backing out, leaving only Thailand and India in to battle for a
place in the second round in a two-legged home-and-away format.
Although the tournament has yet to start, the Kingdom's team are continuing
with their gruelling training with head coach Piyapong Pew-on and his
assistants Boonlert Iamcharoen and Prapol Pongpanich supervising the
training for 56 players over the past few months.
During the training sessions, the coach and his team weighed up the players'
performances, finally narrowing down the 56 to a squad of 20 who will take
part in the tournament.
Whether this 20-player team is good enough to make the Sydney Olympiad
remains to be seen, but one thing to be sure of is that the 20 selected
players have already proved themselves to be the Kingdom's best and are
aware that the country's expectations rest on their shoulders.
Watcharapong Klaharn: Born on Aug 31, 1980 in Suphan Buri, Watcharapong plays for the Thai
Farmers Bank. He has a wealth of international experience and was included in the national
team which finished runners-up in the Asian Junior Under-16 Football Championships in
1997, thus clinching a berth in the World Junior Under-17 Football Championships in Egypt.
Watcharapong was also in the Kingdom's Asian Under-19 Football Championship squad last
year, but unfortunately crashed out in the preliminary round.
Although he gained valuable experience from the internationals, Watcharapong has yet to
show consistent form. At 1.73 metres tall, he is is often considered too short for a
goalkeeper while also being overweight and slow.
He is also considered the team's weak point, but still Watcharapong is the best of the
teams' three goalkeepers.
Phanuwat Tang-anurat: Born on June 11, 1980, this Sa Kaew-native keeps goal for Krung Thai
Bank. However, he is still returning to fitness following a lengthy injury lay-off. At the
Asian Junior Under-19 Football Championship in Chiang Mai last year he was offered a place
in the starting line-up but was unable to take part
because of his injury.
The fact that he is injured is unfortunate, as at 1.79 metres tall, weighing 68kg, he is
the perfect size for a goalkeeper. However, to obtain a place in the starting line-up,
Phanuwat will have to work on his physical strength, although he is already a very
Amarin Yaodam. This 19-year-old, Songkhla native, plays for Sinthana and also appeared
in the national team which took the 1998 Asian Student Football Championship. However,
compared with the other goalies, Amarin is still far from impressive. If the others are
fit and ready, don't expect Amarin to play a big part. Although he deserved his place in
the students' team, he didn't perform well. Moments before the start of the Asian Students
meet he was overcome with emotional problems and therefore relegated to the bench.
Judging from his previous performances in warm-up matches and his mental condition, Amarin
is not responsible enough for the job as the Olympiad team's goalkeeper.
Niruj Surasiang. This Ratchaburi-native plays as a defender for the BEC Tero-Sasana Club,
although has been known to play midfield for the Bangkok Metropolitan Club. During the
Olympiad qualifying rounds Niruj will play as a winger. Although he is a good player and
capable of passing the ball accurately, he needs to concentrate on his attacking skills.
Rangsan Wiwatchaichoke. Born in Bangkok, Rangsan also plays for the BEC Tero-Sasana Club.
Despite playing on the left wing, he has been considered unsuited to this position yet
still displays excellent form in this position while playing for his club,
Consistentcy is his strong point, particularly when he plays in defence. However, to be a
good left-winger he should develop his passing and learn to read the game as quickly as
possible. His last performance in this position was not impressive.
Niwes Siriwong: This Nakhon Phanom native plays for Sinthana and is the captain of the
Olympiad preparatory team. He can play in any position but is particularly good as a
centre-half or defender. Niwes was in the national team that became the Jakarta SEA Games
football champions and also claimed fourth place at last year's Asian Games.
Although he is well qualified, Niwes sometimes drifts in and out of the game, is careless
and makes the team's defence worse rather than better.
Apichet Puttan: A 19-year-old Samut Prakarn native, Apichet is with the Ucom-Rajpracha
Club and plays on the left wing with the Olympiad preparatory team. He is one of the
team's more skilful players, particularly when going forward.
Nonetheless, his aggressive play does create major problems. He often recieves red cards
and should learn to control his temper.
Chakkapong Harnsuwan: This 22-year-old Nakhon Si Thammarat native plays for Osotspa. He is a
hefty player and thus slow. This seriously affects his game when he plays in defence
against speedy opponents.
Sattrapai Srinarong: This Trat native was born on Dec 7, 1977. He plays for Sinthana and was
instrumental in helping the team to win Division A recently. However, while playing as a
wing-back he is not impressive. He is said to prefer playing in attack rather than
He also lacks stamina and performs dismally in defence, while his attacking skills are
said to need major improvement.
Peeratut Phoruandee: Born in Lop Buri on March 15, 1979, Peeratut excells as a
stopper. Although he is very good in the air, he still needs to learn about
Natthapong Rujeethanus: This 22-year-old Bangkokian plays for Bangkok Bank. Although new on the
Thai footballing scene, he has lots of national experience. He also played in the 1996
Thailand League and the recent FA Cup, both of which were won by his club team.
Regarding his display as a stopper in warm-up games, he looks overexcited. He still needs
more time to adjust himself to conditions. If he improves in the near future, he is
expected to combine well with centre-halfs and the goalkeeper.
Pitakpong Chaipradit: This 22-year-old Chiang Mai native plays for Osotspa. At
the beginning of the year he received a lot of attention as he was involved
in the King's Cup tournament. However, following some major disagreements,
he withdrew from selection.
Although he made a comeback for the Olympiad preparatory team's midfield,
since he is tall and fat this often affects his performance, particularly
while battling for the ball against the opponents.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Thailand to make bid
for Asian Cup 17/4/99
THAILAND will offer to host the 12th Asian Cup
the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) cancels Lebanon
as the venue and China, the next country in line, turns
down the opportunity to stage the event.
The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) is confident of
getting the chance as it feels that the Kingdom has
adequate venues and other qualifications to stage such a
According to the FAT secretary-general, Worawi Makudi,
Lebanon's right to host the 12th Asian Cup is in jeopardy
as their stadiums and equipment do not meet AFC
''Lebanon asked the AFC if they could reduce the
standard size of stadiums, but they can't because they
have to follow the AFC's rules. The AFC committee will
meet Lebanese officials on May 10 to 11 to find out their
problems and then give its confirmation of the host on May
26 in Kuala Lumpur. If Lebanon is not the venue, China will
get the chance, but China has not shown any readiness,''
The qualifying round of the 12th Asian Cup will be played
at the end of this year. There will be ten groups. The
winner of each group will earn a place in the final round.
Saudi Arabia, the defending champion, and Lebanon, the
host, get automatic entry to the final.
Group 1: Iraq, Oman, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan
Group 2: Iran, Syria, Bahrain, Maldives
Group 3: UAE, Uzbekistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Group 4: Qatar, Kazakhstan, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestine
Group 5: Kuwait, Turkmenistan, Yemen, Nepal, Bhutan
Group 6: South Korea, Myanmar, Laos, Mongolia
Group 7: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Combodia
Group 8: Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, North Korea
Group 9: China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Guam
Group 10: Japan, Singapore, Macao, Brunei
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Sydney round loses 2
SINGAPORE and Brunei have reportedly pulled out of the
Asia Zone Group 9 Olympics soccer qualification round,
which was slated to be held later this month in Suphan
Laos have already withdrawn from the tournament, leaving
only Thailand and India to fight for the lone place in the
Worawi Makudi, secretary-general of the Football
Association of Thailand (FAT) and team manager, said
yesterday the national team should continue to prepare
with vigour despite the developements as its main goal is
to play in the Olympics.
He said the quadrangular tournament in Malaysia in which
the Thai team is participating has also been postponed
from April 20-28 to April 26-30.
''Our team will compete against Indonesia on April 26, play
South Korea two days later and then hosts Malaysia on
April 30. There is no final. The team with the highest points
will be declared champions,'' he said.
Another quadrangular tournament involving Thailand,
China, Japan and hosts Hong Kong will be held from May
4 to 9, he said.
''I think it will be a test of fitness for our team. We have to
see whether they can cope with strong teams and endure
a lengthy competition schedule,'' he said.
To boost the morale of the players, the team manager is
planning to invite former national players Prasan
Suwannasit, Bampen Latthimon, Samrerng Chaiyong and
Chatchai Phaholpaet, who donned the national colours in
the 1956 Melbourne Games and in the 1968 Mexico
Games, to give current players valuable tips.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Sports Talk: They
have a dream (1/4/99)
TO make the professional
football league dream come true seems not to be the responsibility of the
Football Association of Thailand (FAT) alone now that the Sports
Authority of Thailand (SAT) is apparently taking the matter more seriously
than the FAT.
SAT, the brains behind the initiative to introduce a truly professional
football league, will today organise a seminar to find out ways and means to
make this dream come true. Minister of the PM's Office Jurin Laksanavisit
will preside over the seminar which will end at noon at the Radisson Hotel.
The seminar will commence at 10 am with SAT governor Dr Sakchye Tapsuwan and
his deputies presenting a report to the minister about how the scheme of the
professional football has been handled so far and the outcome of a survey.
FAT president Vijit Getkaew will also be present at the seminar. He will
speak in general terms about the concept of professional football. Jurin
will speak at the conclusion of the seminar.
Also present at the seminar will the representatives from 10 provinces who
have the potential of taking part in the inaugural professional league.
It seems to be a very good move to make the professional football dream come
true as the minister himself is taking a great interest in the plan.
I am not expecting that professional football will become a reality within a
year or two. But, with SAT, which is a
government body, taking this matter seriously, I do believe that the dream
will come to fruition sooner than if we we had let FAT do it alone.
In fact, FAT had tried in vain in the past few years to introduce a
semi-professional football league. The league failed to attract the fans.
The number of fans at matches
throughout the league turned out to be much less than expected.
FAT should know very well that why the league could not attract the fans and
should realise that the most important
factor is the fans themselves. Any league cannot survive without supporters
or fans. The attempt to bring provincial teams to join the
professional league is a very good idea because they help create a large
following, which is essential to make the league a success.
Football is probably the most popular sport in Thailand. I believe that more
than a million Thais play football. We can see that every district has a
football team and almost every empty space is occupied by football players.
We can see that many basketball courts almost everywhere have been turned
into mini-football grounds. Thai kids love to play football more than
When I made a trip to the southern province of Yala, where the 1999 National
Youth Games took place, last month I
could see that many vacant pieces of land, even the dried paddy fields, were
occupied by boys playing football.
During my trip to the south, I also learned from SAT's officers in Surat
Thani that they organise a big football tournament every year. There are
more than ten teams
taking part and the crowd is always satisfactory.
So, I truly believe that if we really want to have a successful professional
league, we should start from the provinces first and let the big provinces,
which have SAT offices and stadiums, join in.
I believe that fans would love to see their provinces beat a leading
Bangkok-based club rather than watching two Bangkok clubs playing each
I believe that provincial teams will have the ability to match the
metropolitan teams, if FAT or SAT gave them enough support and provided them
with a good coach.
Provincial teams can be managed more easily than the teams in Bangkok,
because they will have less logistical costs involved. Above all, I believe
that upcountry players will be more eager to train in trying to earn fame
I hope that the seminar today will end up with a plan to throw full support
to provincial teams and hope that FAT will be able to work out an effective
BY PRASERT SRISUEB
Thai boys lacklustre
in 1-1 tie (23/3/99)
SERIOUS doubts have arisen about Thailand's
chances of qualifying for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games following the
lacklustre 1-1 draw against the Malaysian pre-Olympic squad in a warm-up
It was a boring match at the Thai-Japan Youth Welfare Centre, where both
sides played some drab soccer in front of a sizeable crowd.
The home team, 3-1 winners over the visitors in the first warm-up match on
Sunday at the same venue, found themselves trailing in the 29th minute when
Eng Ku slotted home a cross.
The Thai boys needed more than hour to equalise the score. Sutee Suksomkid
netted the goal in the final minute on a cross from the right flank by Nirut
The Thai pre-Olympic team management yesterday made no effort at all to veil
their disappointment with the squad's performance.
Team manager Worawi Makudi, who is also secretary-general of the Football
Association of Thailand,
announced that quite a few changes would be made to the team before they
took part in the Asia group-nine qualifiers in July in Suphan Buri.
''I won't comment on the team's performance in today's match, because it is
the job of the coach to do so,'' he said, ''but it was pretty clear that
some of the players were not suited to international soccer.
''We need to make changes to the squad before the qualifying tournament,
especially in defence. I also feel that our strikers are not sharp enough.''
Coach Piyapong Pew-On said: ''I am not interested in the outcome of the
match, because we were testing some new boys and a new format. While the
team may have to be changed a bit, the format will stay.''
He said he was planning to make at least six changes to the team that
''I am asking national Asian Games team stopper Panupong Chimpook to join
the team, but I'll need confirmation from the association that he is under
21,'' Piyapong added. Only players under 21 are eligible to take part in the
National-team coach Peter Withe, who watched the match from the stands,
said: ''The Thai team failed to put their rivals under pressure, and that
was because the defenders didn't move up at all.''
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Brazilian blitz lifts
Thailand's hopes of final
BRAZIL, who had mercilessly massacred
Thailand a couple of days ago, on Tuesday did the home team a big
favour by beating Hungary by a tennis score in their second King's Cup
Thailand were left with little chance of qualifying for the final after a
2-2 draw with North Korea in the first match of the day before the Brazilian
youth side ran riot again to blitz Hungary 6-0.
The Brazilians have now been assured of a berth in the final of the King's
Cup, which will be played on Sunday.
The home team were staring at a victory when the North Koreans scored two
goals in a space of five minutes in the second half to pull off a fantastic
draw, leaving Thailand with an uphill task of beating the mighty Hungarians
in their last first round match on Thursday.
A sparse crowd at the Rajamangala National Stadium saw Thailand put on a
better show than their 4-1 rout at the hands of the Brazilian youth team on
The hosts looked set to pick up three points from the match before the North
Koreans tightened the noose and came off at the seams.
The home team had a last-minute change of heart when they went back on their
earlier decision to bench goalkeeper Saravuth Khambua, who was largely held
responsible for the loss to the Brazilians in the curtain-raiser.
Saravuth was once again below par, but luckily escaped unhurt as the North
Koreans failed to avail opportunities created by his mistakes.
However, coach Peter Withe sided with Saravuth, saying: ''There was nothing
with his goalkeeping. Just because he conceded four goals in a match, one
can't say that he is a bad goalkeeper.''
There was another strange decision on the part of the team officials on
Tuesday. Young playmaker Thongchai Akrapong, who won praise from Brazil
coach Antonio Barroso on Sunday, was rested and his replacement
Seksan Piturat failed to impress.
Thailand went on the offensive from the word go and came close to
scoring in the first 10 minutes when captain Kiertisak Senamuang, Krissada
Piandit and Dusit Chalermsaen were all denied by North Korean goalkeeper
Their efforts finally bore fruit in the 34th minute when Kanit Acharayothin
carried a through pass from Thawatchai Damrong-ongtrakul up from the right.
A cracking shot by Kanit slid past Kim and Kiertisak had no trouble in
tapping the ball into the goal.
The second Thai goal was also scored on a long ball when Pattanapong
Sripramote set up Chaichan Kheowsen in the 68th minute. The North Korean
players and bench protested that Chaichan had committed a handball, but the
referee refused to change his decision.
The North Koreans went on the attack and Seksan fouled a North Korean player
just outside the box to concede a free kick. Kang Sun-il planted the ball
into the goal. The Thai players protested that the referee had signalled an
indirect free kick, a charge denied by match referee Mohammad Sukri Mat Amin
Five minutes later, Ri Hyok-chul broke free from Krissada and Panupong
Chimpook to net the equaliser. Thailand had a couple of opportunities
in the dying moments of the match, which they failed to convert.
Commenting on the match, Withe said: ''I was disappointed by the way we
played towards to end of the match. Otherwise it was good performance by the
team. We passed well and kept possession of the ball most of
''All credit goes to the North Koreans for putting up such a brave
fightback. They were two goals down, but still managed to draw the match.
They did it against the Hungarians on Sunday, and they did the same against
''We kind of wilted under pressure. When you give away the ball, your rivals
are bound to take their chances.''
North Korea coach Kim Myong-song said: ''Thailand are strong team, but we
are also not a weak team. I think the draw is a fair result.''
P W D L F A Pts
Brazil 2 2 - - 10 1 6
N Korea 2 - 2 - 4 4 2
Thailand 2 - 1 1 3 6 1
Hungary 2 - 1 1 2 8 1
BY HANIF HASSAN AND KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Brazil thrash Thailand in
A JADED Brazilian
pre-Olympic squad on Sunday exposed Thailand's defensive weaknesses so
vividly in a 4-1 drubbing that it provoked suggestions from the home team
officials to make changes to the squad.
Goalkeeper Sarawuth Khambua was much below par and so were the team's
defenders, who could do little to thwart the Brazilian attacks. It would
have been a respectable scoreline had the Thai strikers were not wayward.
It is not that the local boys sat back and let the Brazilians weave their
Samba magic, but apart from a goal from Asiad Games hero Thawatchai
Damrong-ongtrakul in the second half they did not have things going their
Team manager Virat Chanpanich was clearly angered by the result, but still
managed to mellow his threat of changing the squad -- especially the
goalkeeper -- ''We should give a chance to the others in the team, too.''
Also missing on Sunday at the Rajamangala National Stadium was the crowd
support. Even a couple of cheer-leaders, dressed in fancy costumes and
wearing colourful hair-dos, who had rallied tens of thousands behind them to
back the home team failed to get the 15,000-plus crowd going despite their
desperate efforts time and again.
Peter Withe, the English coach of the national team who normally oozes with
enthusiasm, was as philosophical as a coach could get after such a
''The Thai people should understand that soccer is a tradition for the
Brazilians,'' he said. ''They won their first World Cup a long time ago,
while soccer was still being played at an amateur level in Thailand.
''The Brazilians -- doesn't matter if it is their under-16 team or the
national team -- play great soccer. I think the Thai players have a lot to
learn from them; how simple they are in everything they do and how they run
for each other.
''In fact, I would say that the Thai players have a lot to learn from this
tournament,'' he said.
Commenting on the performance of his team, Withe said: ''The final scoreline
does not do justice to the effort the players put in. We created five or six
very good scoring opportunities, but could score only one. The Brazilians,
on the other hand, took their chances. This is something else we have to
''In the end that fourth goal killed off the match for us. But I am glad the
boys kept fighting and running throughout the game.''
Striker Rodrigo Gral was signalled off-side by a linesman but the raised
flag went unnoticed and he set up playmaker Luis Eduardo to net the fourth
for the Brazilians in the 84th minute.
The match could have ended with a tennis score in favour of the Brazilians
as they narrowly missed by hitting the bar once in each half.
Earlier, the Brazilians started briskly and they were one-up in the eighth
minute when a defensive blunder led to a feeble kick by Fernando Santos,
which, to the shock and dismay of the crowd, Saravuth failed to stop from
rolling into the net.
The second Brazilian goal was a product of a mistake by defender Pattanapong
Sripramote. He lost the ball to Eduardo who slid it to Ronaldo Moreira for a
shot at the goal. The ball was deflected by Chakarat Thonhongsa and Gral was
given ample time by the home team defenders to get off the ground and boot
the ball into the goal.
Thailand had their chances to score. Skipper Kiertisak Senamuang worked hard
upfront and he cannot escape taking the blame for wasting a number of
scoring opportunities. His striking partner Vorawuth Srimakka's only
contribution in the match was a shot straight to goalkeeper Julio Espindola
from a point-blank range late
in the first half.
The hosts pulled one back when Dusit Chalermsaen, also lacklustre for most
of the match on Sunday, lobbed a ball for Thawatchai to tap it past
Espindola in the 56th minute.
The Thais played a much improved game in the second half, but could not stop
the Brazilians from netting two more -- both by Eduardo.
While praising the Thai team, especially Kiertisak and midfielder Thongchai
Akrapong, Brazilian coach Antonio Barroso said: ''It turned out to be a
tough match for us.
''The players were tired after a 36-hour journey and arrived only yesterday.
I am happy that the players were able to maintain their form and win the
He added: ''I think Thailand have some good players and a very good coach. A
bright future lies ahead of them.'' Brazilians play their next match
on Tuesday against Hungary, who on Sunday drew North Korea 2-2 in their
first game of the tournament. Thailand take on North Korea on the same day.
BY HANIF HASSAN and
Brazilians to King's Cup 3/2/99
FOOTBALL Association of Thailand (FAT)
secretary-general Worawi Makudi said on Tuesday that the 1998 World Cup
runners-up Brazil might appear in the 30th King's Cup Soccer Championship in
During his trip to attend the Fifa meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, last
week, Worawi invited Brasil Football Association president to send the
country's squad to join the four-team tournament.
Brazil will confirm their appearance in the Cup, scheduled from Feb 21 to
27, this week. Brazil might send either their full team or the pre-Olympics
squad, Worawi said.
In case the team turn down the invitation, Worawi would select either
Tunisia or Morocco to fill in the final place in the draw which comprise
South Korea, Hungary and the hosts.
''To bring in Brazil, we have contacted Nike Thailand to help us negotiate
with the Brazilian federation since Nike sponsors their national squad.
Hopefully, we will receive a good news,'' the FAT secretary-general said.
''However, Tunisia and Morocco have already confirmed that they are willing
to take part in the tournament if Brazil refuse to participate. So we will
still have good teams in this tournament,'' he added.
Meanwhile, FAT has received a nod from the Sports Authority of Thailand
(SAT) to work on a plan to develop local football at professional level. FAT
will work out a plan to this end with government support and a
possible help from the private sector.
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Brazilians are coming
-- it's confirmed (7/2/99)
THE Football Association of Thailand (FAT) on Saturday confirmed that Brazil
had accepted its invitation to participate in the Feb 21-27 King's Cup and
would be sending their pre-Olympics squad.
It is the first time that a national team from the perenniel soccer
powerhouse will be playing in a tournament in the Kingdom.
Brazil, who are scheduled to arrive on Feb 18, will play their first match
of the four-nation, single-league tournament against the hosts on Feb 21.
All the matches are scheduled to be played at the 60,000-seat
Rajamangala National Stadium.
Brazil, who are looking forward to make up for the shock loss to the
Nigerians in the 1996 Atlanta Games in Sydney next year, have yet to submit
the list of their players to FAT.
The two other countries participating in the tournament are Hungary and
The first round battles, in which all four participating sides will calsh
with each other once, are scheduled to go on until Feb 25. The third-place
playoff and final are scheduled to be played on Feb 27.
Feb 21 -- Thailand v Brazil, North Korea v Hungary
Feb 23 -- Brazil v Hungary, Thailand v North Korea
Feb 25 -- Brazil v North Korea, Thailand v Hungary
Feb 27 -- Third-place playoff, final.
Withe wields the big stick
WITH less than month to go before the 30th
Kings Cup, the Thai football team is having a bumpy ride in its
preparations: just 18 players reported for training on Tuesday. English
coach Peter Withe has decided to wield
the big stick and says he will maintain strict discipline and dismiss
The King's Cup is scheduled to be played from Feb 21 to 27 in Bangkok, where
three major teams, including China and Iran, will join the hosts. A team
from either Europe or Africa will also be invited.
After light warm-up training, Withe said, hard training will start next week
as some of the missing players said they would join the squad after taking
care of personal commitments.
''I couldn't practice much this week, but next week will be different. We
have three warm-up matches to play before the Cup, and then we will see how
many players have the potential to become our national players. Howeve r,
those who are absent will be dimissed,'' Withe said.
The King's Cup squad is scheduled to play a warm-up match against Thai
Farmers Bank tomorrow.
Menwhile manager Virach Chanpanich said the team's performance would be
judged by the fans.
''If they train hard but are unsuccessful in the game, it will be fine, but
if they prepare poorly, they will be punished by the fans,'' he said.
When asked to comment on a report that Withe would be appointed to supervise
Thailand's Olympic team, Football Association of Thailand president Vijit
Getkaew said: ''The Olympic team's staff coaches have to send me a report on
the training, and we've already asked our staff to do its job. However, if
it is necessary to have Withe supervise the Olympic team, we will ask him to
consider the matter.''
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI
Bangkok Land gives
120 rai of land to FAT
BANGKOK Land CEO Anant Kanjanapas has donated 120 rai of land at the Muang
Thong Thani Sports Complex to the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) for
use as an association office and practice venue for the national
The donated land, the venue for last month's Asian Games, features a
5,000-capacity rugby ground, a swimming pool, a weightlifting stadium and
space for nine soccer pitches.
''This will give the national soccer team a place to practice and encamp.
The rugby and weightlifting stadiums will also provide offices for the
FAT,'' said Anant.
Anant also expects the land
to be used to organise international competitions and suggests a hotel
should be built within the compound to accommodate officials and athletes.
Both FAT and Bangkok Land are to use the venue to stage the 1999 32-team
National Indoor Five-a-Side Soccer Championships, from which they will seek
representatives for the Asian Championships in March.
''The competition will be held to select five players to compete in the
Asian Championships in Malaysia from March 4 to 14. We initially expect to
spend around Bt1.5 million on this tournament, but we will know more next
week,'' said FAT president Vijit Getkaew.
Meanwhile FAT secretary-general Woravi Makudi disclosed that the FA Cup
would be held from March 6 to 13 and be open to 32 teams. The IMG company,
responsible for competition marketing, confirmed that the
winning team would be awarded Bt1 million and the runners-up Bt500,000, even
though the competition has yet too find a sponsor owing to the economic
He added that Bt2 million would also be offered to the winner of the match
between the FA Cup winners and the Caltex Premier League champions,
Regarding the national team's preparations for the Olympic Games, head coach
Piyapong Pew-on said that staff coaches had agreed to select the national
team from 50 players. He said that team managers would decide the number of
team-members and the official selection meeting would be held on Jan 6 at
the FAT headquarters.
Boonlert Aeocharoen (midfielder), Prapol Pongpanich (defender),
Piyapong (striker and overall tactics adviser) and Sompong Nanthaprapasil
(goalkeeper) will then take charge of the team.
In addition FAT will host Group 9 of the Olympic football Asian qualifying
tournament, including Thailand, Laos, Brunei, Singapore and India, from
March 15 to 27 at Suphan Buri's provincial stadium.
The association will also host the Thailand International Youth Football
Festival in mid-July. The competition will include 100 teams from 10
BY KOMKRIT NAPALAI