Thailand national football team starved during 10-hour trip

By Hoang An   October 16, 2023 | 02:54 am PT
Thailand national football team starved during 10-hour trip
Players of Thailand national football team wait at the airport in Latvia on October 15, 2023. Photo by the Football Association of Thailand
During over 10 hours of the trip from Georgia to Estonia for a friendly match, the Thailand national football team were not provided any food from their football federation.

Right after taking the bus to Estonia on Sunday, the team had to go to a fast food restaurant because they were starving on the plane from Georgia, according to newspaper Thairath. The 22-year-old midfielder Channarong Promsrikaew even put extra fast food in a bag to eat later.

Thailand cannot fly directly from Georgia to Estonia, because the Ukrainian border is closed. Instead, they had to fly from Georgia to Latvia for five hours, then take a bus from Latvia to Estonia.

Because of late schedules and having to wait at the restaurant, the team had to cancel a training session. Thailand had less than two days before the friendly match with the host.

During this European training trip, coach Mano Polking did not have the strongest squad, missing key players from clubs like BG Pathum, Bangkok United or Buriram United. The presidents of these clubs are also senior members of FAT, so they did not release players to the national team even though the Thai League is on a break during FIFA Days.

Without key players such as defender Theerathon Bunmathan, midfielders Sarach Yooyen, Chanathip Songkrasin or striker Teerasil Dangda, Thailand lost to the world 79th-ranked team Georgia 0-8 in a friendly match on October 12. Estonia are 115th on FIFA ranking, only three places higher than Thailand, so that will be a more comfortable opponent for Polking and his team in the game on Tuesday.

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