Thailand national team head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang has expressed his disappointment with the Asian Football Confederation’s choice of match referee for Thailand’s World Cup qualifier with Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
The AFC assigned Bahrain referee Ali Hasan Ebrahim Abdulnabi and his two compatriots to officiate the match.
Kiatisuk said the AFC should not have selected match officials from the Middle East region for the game: “We have no say in selecting referees, but the AFC should have assigned one from a neutral country. That is how it has been done in the past and the AFC should have continued the tradition.”
“In any case, it is something beyond our control and we cannot do anything about it. The only thing that we can do is to prepare the team well for the match. We are in fact ready for everything,” he added.
Thailand will face Group B leaders Saudi Arabia at Rajamangala National Stadium as the final phase of Asian qualifiers for 2018 World Cup restart after a four-month break. Kiatisuk’s team are at the bottom of the group with only one point from five matches.