Football

Thailand coach Rajevac given Asian Cup ultimatum

The fate of Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac will be decided at next month's Asian Cup, said Football Association of Thailand (FAT) chief Somyot Poompanmoung yesterday.

Rajevac has come under fire after heavy favourites Thailand were knocked out in the semi-finals of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup by Malaysia last week.

Thailand, who won the last two editions of the Suzuki Cup, bowed out on away goals, after a 0-0 draw in Malaysia and a 2-2 draw in Bangkok, where striker Adisak Kraisorn skied an injury-time penalty.

There were calls for FAT to sack Rajevac, but Somyot wants to give another chance to the Serb, who led Ghana to the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup.

This time, Rajevac must lead Thailand into the knockout stage of the continental competition, or else he will be fired, reported the Bangkok Post.

"Rajevac will be evaluated after the Asian Cup," Somyot said.

"The Suzuki Cup is the past. We can't do anything about it. We have to look forward to the Asian Cup.

"The coach must at least guide Thailand to the second round at the Asian Cup. If he fails to pass the test, then he has to leave the post."

The War Elephants are in Group A with hosts UAE, India and Bahrain.

The top-two teams from each of the six groups will qualify for the knockout stage, along with the four best third-placed teams.

Football