BANGKOK (20 Oct 2011) – Former champions Thailand admitted that it will be tough for them to win the gold in men’s football at the SEA Games next month after being grouped in what can only be termed as the ‘Group of Death’ for the biennial championship.
Other than having to face hosts Indonesia in the same Group A, the Thais will also have to get the better of defending champions Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia.
Group B are Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, East Timor, Myanmar and the Philippines.
Datuk Worawi Makudi, the president of the FA of Thailand (FAT) admitted that the team had a mountain to climb to regain the gold medal.
“We are in a really tough group,” said Worawi. “I don’t know why they did not have seeding in the draw. But we have to accept it and be well-prepared for the task.”
Added Thailand manager Kasem Jariyawatwong said: “We must be at full strength if we are to win the gold medal. We won’t underestimate any team but we are ready to face any team.”
In the meantime, Thailand have announced their 20-man squad for the SEA Games with BEC Tero Sasana striker Ronnachai Rangsiyo leading the way.
The team will play two warm-up games against Songkhla FC on 25 Oct then then against Nepal 31 Oct.
Men’s football at this year’s SEA Games will start on 3 Nov.
GOALKEEPERS: Ukrit Wongmeena (Buriram FC), Panupong Pijitthum (Chai Nan FC)
DEFENDERS: Chalermsak Kaewsuktae (Chai Nat FC), Chalermkiat Butnet and Ekkasit Chaobut (both Bangkok FC), Sujarit Jantakol (Sri Racha FC), Komkrit Kumsokchuek (Bangkok United), Seekate Martputae (Pattaya United), Weerawut Kayem (Muang Thong), Wasant Homsan (Bangkok Glass)
MIDFIELDERS: Pokklao Anan (Insee Police), Pollawut Donjui (Bangkok United), Naruepol Ar-romsawa (Muang Thong), Attapol Nooprom and Krirkrit Taweekarn (both Sri Racha FC), Natarit Thammarotsophon (BEC Tero), Sarat Yooyen (FC Phuket)
STRIKERS: Ronnachai Rangsiyo (BEC Tero), Adisak Kraisorn (Buriram PEA), Issarapong Leelakorn (PTT-Rayong)
SEA GAMES 2011 GROUPINGS
GROUP A: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia
GROUP B: Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, East Timor, Myanmar, Philippines