Jakkaphan Pornsai's hopes of representing the national football team in the forthcoming Asian Games in South Korea have been crushed because the Thai Football Association failed in its bid to get the winger registered for the tournament.
Former national striker Kiatisak Senamuang, who was put in charge of the country’s Asian Games squad by the FA, decided to call up the 27-year-old Jakkaphan as a last-minute replacement for Pinyo Inpinit, one of the team’s three overage players for the under-23 competition. The coach had lined him up for the captaincy since he was the most senior player in the roster.
Jakkaphan was present at the Golden Tulip Sovereign hotel yesterday along with other players to report for the team’s training camp in Phuket. However, the Olympic Committee of Thailand sent a letter saying he was ineligible for the event because his name was not included in the 40-member registration list sent to the International Olympic Committee.
Kiatisak, who led the country to the SEA Games glory in Myanmar last year, admitted it was blow to lose the experienced Jakkaphan in the event, to be held in Incheon, South Korea between September 19 and October 4.
“It’s a pity that Jakkaphan can’t play for us. His experience would have been valuable for the team.
“I talked with him and he understands the situation. I will now call Pinyo back into the team.”
The Thai side are due to play Myanmar (August 31), Phuket FC (September 3) and Qatar (September 7) in warm-up matches in Phuket before leaving for the tournament on September 10.
Kiatisak’s side, whose best result so far is fourth place in the previous three editions of the quadrennial tournament (1990, 1998 and 2002), will open their campaign against unfancied Maldives on September 15.