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Somyot sorry for Thailand’s failed World Cup campaign

Somyot sorry for Thailand’s failed World Cup campaign

FOOTBALL: Somyot Poompunmuang, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president, apologised to Thai fans yesterday (June 16) after the national side ended their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign in embarrassing fashion with a 1-0 loss to Malaysia on Tuesday night.

FootballWorld-Cup
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 17 June 2021, 03:59PM


FAT chief Somyot Poompunmuang. Photo: Bangkok Post

FAT chief Somyot Poompunmuang. Photo: Bangkok Post

Safawi Rasid’s spot kick after 52 minutes in Dubai finished off their Southeast Asian rivals in Group G of Asia’s second qualifying round for Qatar 2022.

Thailand and Malaysia had been out of the race for tickets to the 2022 World Cup, and Tuesday’s result meant Malaysia finished third and Thailand fourth in Group G.

Malaysia earned a spot in the 2023 Asian Cup qualifying round while the Thais have to enter play-offs to reach that qualifying stage.

The UAE beat Vietnam 3-2 as both advance to Asia’s final qualifying stage for the Qatar World Cup as Group G winners and runners-up respectively.

“As the FAT president, I’d like to apologise to Thai fans for our failure to bring happiness to you,” Somyot said.

“As we failed to meet our target, the FAT has to review the performance and seek improvement.”

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He said the War Elephants will look forward to future tournaments but did not discuss national coach Akira Nishino’s future.

Nishino admitted that he made mistakes in team selections and coaching, and apologised to the players he did not use.

Somyot once said he felt ashamed that Thailand could only be good at the Southeast Asian level.

But Thailand are now not reigning champions of the SEA Games (for U23 players) and Suzuki Cup (Southeast Asian championship for full national teams).

In their World Cup qualifying campaign, they could only get one win against their Southeast Asian rivals in Group G. The sole victory was against Group G bottom side Indonesia, who then held them to a draw in the second leg. Thailand had two draws with Vietnam and two defeats against Malaysia.

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