Southeast Asia Thailand

Kiatisuk criticizes Thailand FA for setting target “too high”

Former Thailand national team head coach Kiatisuk has criticized the Football Association of Thailand (FAT), saying that the target set out by the football governing body was “too high”, and that the criticism from FAT officials, as well as fans, has led to his resignation.

The 43-year-old coach, who is affectionally known as “Zico”, offered his resignation as head coach of the War Elephants earlier this week, following heavy defeats against Saudi Arabia and Japan in the 2018 World Cup qualification.

“I apologized that I couldn’t lead Thailand to its first appearance at the World Cup in one year. I think the target is too high. It is difficult to reach that specific target, so I decided to quit to open way for another manager to do the job”, Kiatisuk said in his first interview since his resignation, as quoted on the Bangkok Post.

“We lost matches but we won fans’ hearts. It is the FAT president as well as the executive board who passed judgment on me”, he added.

“These days, it’s not easy to win the Suzuki Cup or the SEA Games. The SEA Games will be held in Malaysia this year, and we should wait and see if Thailand can win the gold medal”, the coach said.

The former Hoang Anh Gia Lai footballer also criticized FAT president Somyot Poompanmoung for failing to invest in youth coaching, pointing out that the current national team footballers were developed under the previous president, Worawi Makudi.

Various coaches have been heavily linked with the Thailand national team head coach position, ranging from former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri to Brazilian legend Zico. According to FAT president Somyot Poompanmoung, there are 20 coaches who are interested in the job.