Why Thailand turned away from 2 consecutive AFF Cup 2020?

The AFF Cup 2020 is likely to be the second time in a row that the Thailand football team has refused to bring the strongest force to the region’s largest arena.

Thailand will not send the team to attend the AFF Cup at the end of this year

On April 6, Thai media simultaneously published a statement by FAT Chairman Somyot Poompanmuang proposing the possibility that Thailand did not send any Thailand football team to the AFF Cup 2020 at the end of the year. Mr. Poompanmuang was not the first to overlook the region’s biggest tournament.

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Previously, Akira Nishino had considered the possibility of sending the U23 Thailand football team to the AFF Cup 2020 to replace the national Thailand football team. Poompanmuang’s proposal was even more drastic than Nishino’s plan.

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Since the time of Kiatisak, Thailand has lost interest in regional competitions.
Since the time of Kiatisak, Thailand has lost interest in regional competitions.

The Thai people have a change that is due to the heavy influence of the Covid-19 epidemic is affecting the football system of this country. Some preliminary calculations suggest that Thailand’s professional football system may be postponed until August. The time left from there to the national Thailand football team match at the end of the year is too short. The entire Thai League plan, the national cup will be affected.

After the epidemic is repelled, the Thai player will have to stretch at the club level, have to play the AFF Cup 2020 and the 2022 World Cup qualifying matches at the end of the year.

Background forced Thai people to calculate. Previously, they talked about the possibility of the Thai League playing only once, leaving the domestic cup. Choosing not to send the Thailand football team to the AFF Cup 2020 is just one of the situation solutions that have just arisen.

Thailand has repeatedly “turned away” from the Southeast Asian tournaments

In the past, Thailand has repeatedly “turned away” from Southeast Asian tournaments when having to choose with the international playing field. In 2018, Thailand did not recall 4 players playing abroad.

Previously, Kiatisak Senamuang also appointed assistant to lead U22 in SEA Games 2015 and 2017 to focus on World Cup qualifiers. At the latest SEA Games, coach Nishino also repeatedly overlooked that this is just a tournament “for Thai players to gain experience” before U23 Asia.

U23 team to replace the national team for the AFF Cup
U23 team to replace the national team for the AFF Cup

Sending the U23 squad to replace the national team for the AFF Cup 2020 is another option that is being considered by Thai people. In 2020, the U23 Thailand football team has no big plans. Attending the AFF Cup 2020 will help Thailand U23 accumulate experience before SEA Games 2021.

Another issue that will influence Thai decisions is that the AFF Cup is not a part of the FIFA Day calendar. In the old schedule, the AFF Cup took place when the Asian domestic leagues were completed, convenient for summoning players to the team. But with this situation, the possibility of the AFF Cup 2020 must take place when the national championship has not ended is very high.

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Thai people will have difficulty calling back 4 players who are playing abroad. They are not even sure to get support from domestic clubs if the Thai League is not over then. That is, even if wanted, Thailand could hardly send the best forces to the regional arena.

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