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Four-goal Faris dreams of AFC Cup final

AFC Cup
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By ESPN Staff

Thailand coach blasts FIFA over late bannings

BANGKOK, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Thailand's national team coach is furious with soccer's world governing body FIFA for waiting until the eve of their World Cup qualifier with Japan to tell him his best players were suspended. Charnwit Polcheewin, whose squad is already hit by injuries, said neither the Asian Football Confederation nor FIFA wanted to tell him midfield playmaker Datsakorn Thonglao and Manchester City defender Suree Sukha could not play in Saitama on Wednesday. 'I didn't receive any information from either the AFC or FIFA,' he said. 'They told me today (Tuesday).'If I cannot use them, I wouldn't have brought them to Japan,' he told the Nation newspaper. Charnwit said the ruling was unfair because his players picked up bookings in the first and second rounds, which Japan did not contest because of their higher ranking. 'They have no accumulated yellow cards. Do you think it's fair? We submitted the list of players a month ago. Is this football or politics?' The Thai players, normally accustomed to tropical heat, were greeted by blizzard-like conditions following their arrival in Japan at the weekend. 'We are not used to the cold weather,' Charnwit added. 'It gives an advantage to the Japanese players.' Thailand, Japan, Oman and Bahrain have been drawn in Group Two, from which the top two sides will progress to the fourth round.