Thailand FA president urges national team to play “with national pride” in final World Cup qualifiers

Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Somyot Poompunmuang urged the national football team to play the two remaining 2018 World Cup qualifiers with their “national pride” on.

“I realise the results of the last two matches won’t take us to the [2018] World Cup finals,” Somyot said to 24 national team players at the training camp in Kiarti Thanee Country Club on Monday, as quoted by the Bangkok Post.

“But national pride will be at stake in these games so I expect the players to put in their efforts and produce good results.

“I believe that if we concentrate and work hard, we can create history in front of our home crowd by beating Iraq.”

Thailand have been out of contention for a place in the 2018 World Cup finals. In the final qualifying stage, the War Elephants have amassed two points from draws with Australia and the United Arab Emirates, standing at the bottom of Group B.

They will play against Iraq next Thursday at Rajamangla National Stadium and then travel to Melbourne for their last Group B match against Australia on 5 September.