Notes - Thailand's Coach & Manager Quit - Liverpool A
No Sale - Defeat Newcastle United - July 2004
James Loving - National Radio Text Service - Friday July 16, 2004
Thailand Defeats Newcastle United After Coach & Manager Resign - FIFA TOP TEN & NEWS - Chang Beer Sponsors Everton - Shaq & Kobe Separated, O'Neal Traded To Miami - Cambodia In Tiger Cup Group A
THAI FOOTBALL TURBULENCE
What can you say about Thailand's football fortunes or misfortunes? In May when Thailand's Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said he wanted to purchase a 30% share of the Liverpool Football Club mad frenzy reined throughout the country over the prospect of it happening. The problem was the PM wanted to use public funds via a lottery rather than some the billions of dollars of his personal wealth.
When Thaskin's bid flailed the head of the Thailand's Grammy record company stepped forward and said he wanted to purchase the club. That never happened and there was barley a peep when that didn't materialize. All of the Thai's hopes and expectations crashed, burned… turned from ashes to dust and blew away.
The issue was dropped without as much as a peep as if the matter never happened. Saving face could have something to do with that. The Thai bravado all of a sudden disappeared.
In June the national team was then drubbed at home 4-1 by North Korea in a World Cup qualifying game with the PM in attendance. He criticized the squad for a poor performance.
Thailand's star player Kiatisuk 'Zico' Senamuang publicly took exception to the remarks and has since claimed he's too tired to play for the national side in the Asian Cup due to his having played so many games in the Vietnam League.
The drama continued. It was reported that Shinawatra was embarrassed by the result of the thrashing by North Korea. Prior to the contest it was felt that Thailand would have no problem and defeat the visitors. The problem was they had problems too much.
Coach Carlos Roberto Carvalho quit the squad following the Korea game. Team manager Thavatchai "The Big Hoy" Sajakul also turned in his resignation. Long time Thai assistant coach Chatchai Pholphae was then named head coach.
With so much chaotic activity in a two month period you would think that the program would crash and burn….. but not so.
In a surprise, in a friendly game Thailand defeated Newcastle in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw in regulation Wednesday at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium. The victory put some icing on the FAT's (Football Association of Thailand) burnt cake.
Newcastle brought all of the stars including Alan Shearer, Craig Bellamy, Shay Given, Laurent Robert, Jermaine Jenas, Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer and manager Bobby Robson.
The Thai squad played with spirit and cohesiveness they haven't displayed since their former coach Englishman Peter Withe was dismissed at a very critical time in September after almost five years at the helm. The critical time was the then upcoming Sea Games and Asian Cup matches.
Shearer ws up to his ears in alligators as he was being thrown about and down by Thai defenders without receiving any penalty calls from the Thai referees.
The end result for Thailand made a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The Thai squad so far has survived the FAT soccer turmoil and prime ministers criticism by coming together and playing a more fluid, spirited and aggressive game. The question is will it be enough to carry them to victory in Asian Cups matches with Japan, Iran and Oman?
NOTE: Thailand's ultimate goal is to qualify for the World Cup something they have never achieved. They made it to the second round for the first time in their history under Peter Withe. They had a good chance to go through but were thwarted by poor travel plans by the FAT from their workouts in Singapore to Iraq. Too many indirect flights and layovers left the squad too tired to compete at their best. Thailand has always wanted a Thai coach… now they have one.
FIFA TOP TEN
1. Brazil 835
2. France 813
3. Spain 792
4. Czech Republic 762
5. Netherlands 748
6. Mexico 743
7. USA 735
8. England 733
9. Italy 729
10 Turkey 723
THAILAND'S CHANG BEER SPONSORS EVERTON
By hook or by crook the Thai's seem hell bent on getting involved in the English Premiere League. Though Thailand's efforts failed to purchase a 30% stake in Liverpool they took a different tact. Thailand's Chang Beer became the Sponsor of Everton for a one-year contract of US$1.5 million. Former Thai national team manager Thavatchai Sajakul is reported to be instrumental in making the deal happen.
The hope is that the Thai beer company can spread brand awareness. The Premiere League is televised in Thailand.
Chang is a decent tasting beer. It will be sold at Everton's 40,000 seat Goodison Park. It will be interesting to see if the Brits will give up their love for Guinness and buy the Thai brand.
Whatever the drinkers choice Thailand wins on an enormous amount of FREE PUBLICITY INTERNATIONALLY for a country promoting tourism. Thailand now has a presence in arguably the most famous football league in the world. A good move? Agree or not?
CAMBODIA IN TIGER CUP GROUP A
Cambodia was placed in Group A of the Tiger Cup to be played in December in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam. Indonesia, Vietnam (co-host), Singapore and Laos are also in the group. Cambodia will play Vietnam December 9th.
The games were originally slated to be played at Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh but officials deemed the facility inadequate to host the games due to the lack of sufficient sewage facilities.
According to Helen Grant Ross the developers that renovated the stadium turned the original sewage system into a parking garage. The result is a loss of revenue to the Cambodian economy and a loss to the vendors surrounding the stadium many of whom purchased their stalls in hopes of benefiting from the business that a useful stadium would bring.
Thailand will participate in Group B with the co-host, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines and newcomers East Timor. The games will be played in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur from December 7 through 16th.
For the first time in Tiger Cup history the semifinal and final will be played on a home and away basis. They will take place December 29 and January 2nd. The finals will be played January 8 and January 15th.
LAKERS - WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG - SHAQ TRADED TO MIAMI HEAT
After being bludgeoned almost to death by the Los Angeles Police Department several years ago Rodney King pleaded with the public after settling a million dollar law suite, "Why can't we all just get along."
For the Los Angles Lakers dysfunctional family they can't get along and its over…. Shaquille O'Neal's request to be traded was granted as he was shipped of to the Miami Heat for three players and a future draft choice.
O'Neal and Kobe Bryant couldn't get along. The problem was both wanted to be the team's number one star. O'Neal was also unhappy with team owner Jerry Buss and General Manager Mitch Kupchek.
The cracks in the Lakers egg started to ooze out the slime that a change was going to come when the NBA's all-time winningest championship coach Phil Jackson (tied with Red Aurabauch) was not rehired.
Bryant was trying the free agent market and considering playing elsewhere. Within hours of trading O'Neal the Lakers signed Bryant to a seven-year deal for US$136 million to remain with the club.
After eight years with the team O'Neal has finally seen the light. The arrogance of the Lakers organization has surfaced and he's talking freely about it. Shaq is moving on and now doesn't have to worry about... WHO LOVES YA BABY?
Coming: Behind the Lakers - All That Glitters Is Not Gold - The Lakers Underbelly.
The HBO's Don King film is now being televised in Asia. King was the promoter of many fights including Like Tyson's. Check your local listings for the time and date.
GREEKS ON THE MARCH UP 21 POSITIONS - Ghana's star on the rise
As expected, the latest FIFA World Ranking shows the effects of EURO 2004 and recent FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches. France and Spain are unable to close the gap on leaders Brazil and the top European duo may also count themselves rather fortunate not to have been overtaken by the Czech Republic (4th, up 7).
The Czechs, meanwhile, saw their dreams dashed by this month's sensations, Greece. Having climbed possibly the greatest ever number of places in the upper reaches of the ranking, the new European champions (14th, up 21) are in their highest ever position. They also put paid to Portuguese hopes of rejoining the top ten (12th, up 10), while the progress of England (8th, up 5) and the USA (7th, up 2), the latter sailing in the slipstream of EURO 2004, is also worthy of note.
Just two years before hosting the FIFA World Cup, Germany (12th, down 4) are faced with the prospect of slipping further down the ranking, particularly as the hosts will now be playing friendly matches and not World Cup qualifiers, games that reward successful teams with a high number of points.
Outside Europe, a number of teams make good progress on the back of impressive performances in 2006 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers. Teams from CAF and CONCACAF catch the eye more than most, with the following teams climbing more than ten places:
Ghana (71st, up 18 - the second biggest mover of the month), Trinidad and Tobago (63rd, up 14), Cuba (66th, up 14), Libya (70th, up 12), Panama (106th, up 14), St. Kitts and Nevis (108th, up 12), Korea DPR (114th, up 11) and Cape Verde Islands (134th, up 12).
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