The Football Association of Thailand is forbidding players from using their smartphones on the eve of matches at the upcoming Asian Games in case they get distracted from the job at hand.
Assistant team manager Worapoj Yasadatt said good nutrition, self- discipline and plenty of rest were the priorities for his players, whose first game in Indonesia is against Qatar on August 14.
“We will shut all opportunities that will make players lose their concentration or prevent them from having enough rest,” said Worapoj during the final edition of the “Meet the Press” in Bangkok on Tuesday.
He said the players had agreed to comply by the rules and would have their phones returned after each match.
“As they are professional enough, they are willing to let us take care of their phones,” added Worapoj. “They know they need to stay away from the phones as they can become addicted to social media and games.”
The men’s national team is entirely made up of under-23 players as older stars like Chanathip Songkrasin, Teerasil Dangda and Teerathon Bunmathan are all committed to their J-League competitions.
Thailand’s best finished in the Games were three semi-finals: Bangkok (1998), Busan (2002) and Incheon (2014).
Worapoj also candidly admitted it would be a daunting task to qualify for the semis again, with Thailand widely regarded as underdogs in a group containing Asian powerhouses Qatar, Uzbekistan and Bangladesh.
Meanwhile women’s team manager Nualphan Lamsam hopes to settle score with Vietnam to ensure a place in the knock-out stages.
Thailand lost 2-1 to their neighbours in the quarter-finals four years ago and in the upcoming Asiad, the Kingdom are placed in Group C with Vietnam and Japan.
The top two nations in each group qualify for the quarter-finals.
“As Japan are too powerful, we need to beat Vietnam to move ahead. Whenever we play Vietnam, they always put up a fierce fight,” said Nualphan, who predicted her team, would meet either Indonesia or Taiwan in the last eight, if it can finish runners-up in the group.
Meanwhile Olympic Committee of Thailand secretary general Charouck Arirachakaran is advising the team managers of each sport to pay special attention to organising the transportation from the athletes village to competition venues, due to heavy traffic congestion in Jakarta.
Charouck also predicted Thailand would win a maximum 17 golds at the Games, while the Sport Writers and Photographers Association of Thailand is slightly more optimistic. It is forecasting 20 champions for the Kingdom.