Entire national squad dropped by Thailand FA

November 9, 2006

BANGKOK, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Thailand has scrapped its entire national squad less than two weeks after it was named and plans to choose a better one soon, an official said on Thursday.

Thai chiefs decided to disband the 28-man squad named 12 days ago because it included too many veteran players and was not suitable for next year's big tournaments, Worawi Makudi, secretary-general of the Football Association of Thailand said.

'It's not a big change, we just want to put the best players together, that's our aim,' he said. 'We want to make sure we get the best out of everybody, and one of the reasons for the change is the players' age.'

Thailand's most prolific striker, Kiatisak 'Zico' Senamuang, formerly with English club Huddersfield Town, was among those recalled after a two-year absence, but his national team future now looks in doubt.

Thailand have dominated South-east Asian soccer for decades, but have frequently been embroiled in controversy, with players and coaches routinely sacked after disappointing performances.

Two years ago, the Kingdom went through four top coaches in less than 16 months, several of whom learned about their dismissal in local newspapers.

The original squad was chosen for next month's seven-nation King's Cup tournament in Bangkok, but most players were also expected to figure in the ASEAN Football Federation Championship and the Asian Cup, both of which Thailand will co-host.

Virat Chanpanich, the Thai team manager for the King's Cup, said he was fed up with the job and would probably step down if the squad was replaced.

'If it is true, I will probably resign from the post because there is no point staying on in these kind of circumstances,' he was quoted as saying by the Nation newspaper.

'I am done with the job. I feel as if someone has kicked me in the teeth.'

Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Vietnam and Myanmar are due to contest the annual King's Cup in Bangkok from Dec. 20-30.