On the Thai team’s social networking site, coach Issara Sritaro confidently talked about the opportunity to compete in the Asian U23 2024 and aimed at his ambition to win tickets to the 2024 Summer Olympics.
“Everyone is trying their best to achieve the goal, reach the finals and look forward to the Olympics. Please come and cheer for the young players because we compete in Thailand,” said Mr. Issara, full of confidence. , and call for support from fans.
Mr. Issara’s words in the morning of May 26 received many interactions from Thai football fans.
However, a large part of the fans reacted with surprise, or more heavily, with irony.
U23 Thailand competed in the Asian U23 qualifier at home with quite pleasant opponents: U23 Malaysia, U23 Philippines and U23 Bangladesh.
The chance for “War Elephants” to win tickets to Qatar next spring is very high. However, it is not realistic to set the goal of going through the tournament successfully and moving towards the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Thailand U22 team, who will be the core of U23 participating in the Asian tournament, has just lost to Indonesia U22 in the violent final of the 32nd SEA Games. This result erodes the trust of the fans.
Entering the qualifying stage next September, Thailand U23 has the service of “prodigy” Suphanat Mueanta because the AFC (Asian Football Federation) scheduled the match to coincide with FIFA Day.
Therefore, with the ability to summon the best player base, the passport to Qatar is almost in the hands of Issara Sritaro’s teachers and students.
However, the finals will be played between April 15 and May 3, 2024, which is not part of the FIFA calendar. This is a problem when many Thai League 1 clubs find it difficult to accept the release of players.
Between dream and reality
Thailand’s U22 team attended the recent SEA Games as a foundation for the long-term future, performing continuous tasks such as the Asian U23 and Olympic Games that the Football Association of this country (FAT) set out.
It was a massive defeat. “HCB is a disappointment, all the more telling when the way it failed with a bad image spread around the world,” Thai Rath newspaper wrote in an editorial on May 27.
Not only was it a failure, but FAT also did not give the right direction. The punishment given to the members for brawling with U22 Indonesia in the final of the 32nd SEA Games did not solve the problem.
“The punishment for players and staff members does not reflect the determination to solve anything,” Thai Rath criticized FAT.
FAT is currently run by Mr. Somyot Poompanmoung, who has been president since 2016.
During Mr. Somyot’s tenure, Thailand U23 only won the 2017 SEA Games gold medal and then failed consecutively.
For the first time in more than 3 decades, “War Elephants” experienced 3 consecutive SEA Games without winning gold. According to Thai Rath, FAT lacks specific guidance and direction, does not stand by the team outside of having talks.
Mr. Somyot and the FAT management team’s tenure ends next year. Currently, the U23 Southeast Asia 2023, the U23 Asia 2024 and the Olympic dream are still under their duties.
“This is your last chance. Let’s be serious, don’t just focus on words. Real action is needed. Say goodbye to fond memories and fans’ love, or leave with bows. depends on work efficiency”, emphasized Thai Rath.
In another editorial, the famous writer Tong Jay frankly: “It’s time for a change. The brawl in the 32nd SEA Games final will certainly be remembered for a long time. It’s time to solve it together. the Thai football crisis seriously”.
Tong Jay specifically mentioned General Prawit Wongsuwon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, who announced his resignation before the opening of the 32nd SEA Games if “Thai football does not win gold”.
Mr. Prawit Wongsuwon did not do as Sao Sokha – who resigned as president of the Cambodian Football Federation when the home team did not reach the semi-finals of the 32nd SEA Games.
“I believe there are still the right people to take Thai football far,” concluded Tong Jay.
Thai football and Issara Sritaro dream, but the reality is that there are many internal affairs that have not been taken seriously.
Ngoc Huy | 16:25 May 27, 2023