After India’s stunning 4-1 win at the Asian Cup football tournament on Sunday, Thailand’s head coach Milovan Rajevac has been sacked after just one game in charge at the continental championships.
India recorded their first win at the tournament in 55 years with veteran striker Sunil Chhetri scoring twice against Thailand in their Group A opener.
The win had immediate repercussions in Thailand, as head coach Rajevac was shown the door along with some members of the support staff.
Rajevac’s job “was on the line since the team’s disappointing semi-final exit to Malaysia in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 last month”, reported Fox Sports Asia.
FA Thailand president Somyot Poompanmoung said that he could not “stand still with the problem”. In a letter to all the fans of the football team, Somyot informed that the defeat to India was the reason for the decision and said that Thailand have not been playing at the level that they should be.
“We are playing in the biggest football competition in Asia. This is something we have waited for very long and FA Thailand has fully supported the preparations of the national team to reach its highest potential before the competition with the intention of producing better results than before,” he wrote.
But the result [against India] is not what is expected of the Thai national team and that our supporters deserve. Just like all Thai football fans across the country, I am also disappointed with the result. But as the president of the football association, I cannot stand still with this problem,” Somyot added.
“I would like to announce the termination of the contract of the head coach of the Thai national team Milovan Rajevac and also announce the appointment of Sirisak Yodyardthai to perform the duties with the team.”
Rajevac took charge of the War Elephants in 2017 after stints with Qatar and Algeria. He earned widespread praise for taking Ghana to the quarter-finals of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa, where they controversially lost to Uruguay in a penalty shootout. India face UAE next while Thailand, under a new management, will take on Bahrain.