BANGKOK (30 June 2019) – Rumours spread like wildfire this weekend when former Japan national coach Akira Nishino was spotted in Bangkok yesterday during a Thai Premier League match between Bangkok United and Sukhotai.
When asked if he was in Bangkok to take up the national coach post, Nishino’s reply was “I am here just to watch a football match.”
But talk has been rife in both Bangkok and Tokyo that the 64-year-old former Japan boss is in final talks with the FA of Thailand (FAT) on taking over the helm of the national team.
Thailand suffered some beating in the past month where after finishing fourth in the four-team King’s Cup, they also saw the departure of interim head coach Sirisak Yodyardthai and U23 chief Alexandre Gama.
FAT President Somyot Poompunmuang had indicated that a new Thai national coach will be unveiled next week.
“It is likely to be an Asian,” said Somyot. “But everything can change, even if we are close to reaching an agreement.”
Nishino had guided Japan to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia.
Other than Nishino, former Cerezo Osaka coach Yoon Jong-Hwan from South Korea has also reportedly applied for the job.