Angry Thai club will not release players for nation

Thailand Premier League club, Thailand Tobacco Monopoly, has shocked the football community by deciding it will not release players to the national team squad for Asian Games training. Deputy chairman of the Tobacco Monopoly Football Foundation, Mongkongwat Ruthanon said there were a number of reasons for the action including the club's need for good results to defend their Premier League title, at present they are suffering a lot of injuries and also their coaches needed the players "to optimise their potential".

According to Tor Chittinand in the Bangkok Post, however, the true reason may be retaliation for being disqualified from the AFC Champions League. The club reportedly believes the Football Association of Thailand could have done more to help them after being banned from the Champions League for failing to provide documentation in time.

Thailand head coach, Charnwit Phalajivin said he did not think the club's decision will affect his national squad too much: "We have many good players in our squad," he said. "But it is a bit disappointing some TTm players won't have the opportunity to play for the national team."

See also: ASEAN clubs slam 'unprofessional' associations (1 March