Thai football revolution: Japan’s ace coach secures secret deal

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) pulled off a clandestine coup, securing the services of Japanese maestro Masatada Ishii to lead the national team.

The deal, cloaked in secrecy, sent shockwaves through the football world, leaving fans buzzing with anticipation.

FAT sealed a hush-hush pact with Japanese tactician Masatada Ishii yesterday, December 12, to helm the national squad – the price tag is a closely guarded secret.

The duration of this covert football alliance remains veiled in mystery, with the FAT keeping tight-lipped on the contractual timeline. However, what is clear is that Ishii’s inaugural challenge is set to be a riveting away clash against his homeland, Japan, on January 1 in the heart of Tokyo.

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Yet, that’s just the kickoff for Ishii, who is set to steer Thailand through the treacherous waters of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup finals in Qatar, spanning from January 12 to February 10 next year. Subsequently, the national team will face off against South Korea in the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup on March 21 and 26, reported Bangkok Post.

FAT president Police General Somyot Poompunmuang expressed optimism.

“I wish Masatada Ishii the best of luck and hope that he will bring success to the national team in the Asian Cup and World Cup qualifiers.”

Following the contract signing, Ishii wasted no time and engaged in discussions with Thai League Co officials. The focus? Ensuring the national team players get the maximum possible time to train together, fine-tuning their skills for the upcoming international challenges.

Ishii boasts an impressive coaching track record, having steered Kashima Antlers to victory in the Luvan Cup in 2015, clinching the J-League title and Emperor Cup in 2016, and securing the Japanese Super Cup in 2017. Under his watchful eye, Kashima Antlers finished as runners-up in the Fifa Club World Cup in 2016.

In 2019, Ishii took charge of Samut Prakan City before making a move to Buriram United. With Buriram United, he achieved the remarkable feat of sweeping all three domestic titles – the Thai League 1, FA Cup, and League Cup – not once but twice, dominating the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 seasons.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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