Thai soccer squad might be short of three key players at King’s Cup

  • Thailand’s players celebrate after winning against Malaysia after their men’s football finals match at the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) at Shah Alam Stadium in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on August 29, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN

The Thai national soccer team may run short of three key players for the King Cup’s tournament in March because they been contracted to play in teams of the Japanese League during the period.

The Football Association of Thailand has set the programme for the 46th King’s Cup tournament on March 23-25 and the association has invited the Slovakian team which is placed at the 24th world’s ranking from European and the UAE team which are placed at the 24th and 73th world’s rankings from Europe and Asia respectively to join the tournament.

Talks with a third team to play in the tournament is still under way.

A source close to the FAT said that the Thai national soccer squad might not have their key players namely Chanathip Songkrasin, Teerasil Dangda and Theerathon Bunmathan as they were committed to play in the J-Leaque during the same period.

Chanathip is playing for Consadole Sapporo; Teerasil has been loaned for one-year contract to play for Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC; and Theerathon will play for Vissel Kobe.

The source said that it was unlikely that the Japanese teams would not allow the three Thai national players to play for the King Cup’s tournament.

However, the FAT would write to the Japanese soccer clubs which have the three Thai players to temporarily release them to play in friendly matches in Thailand in accordance with FIFA regulations.

The Japanese national team has programmes to play in friendly matches with Ukraine and Argentina on March 23 and March 27 respectively.