Thai U-23 team coach suspended
Thai U-23 team coach suspended
Thailand’s U-23 football team head coach at the SEA Games, Steve Darby, has been suspended after the eight-time champion Thailand were eliminated from the first round of the 25th SEA Games last week.
There has been a lot of pressure on the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) to sack Darby after staff coaches Kiatisak Senamuang and Nibhon Malanot quit their positions following the disastrous results.
FAT president Worawi Makudi said he understood the reasons why the Thai fans and media were upset, but that he wanted any changes to be handled “smoothly”
Athletes shop for silver
Vietnamese sportsmen and women, who have finished competing, went on a spending spree in Vientiane.
Victorious women footballers Dao Thi Mien, Nguyen Minh Nguyet and Doan Thi Kim Chi crowded into the supermarket in the centre of Vientiane, where they focused on the silver jewellery collections.
“We won the gold yesterday and now we’re looking for silver,” said central defender Dao Thi Mien.
She said she wants to buy souvenirs for friends and her parents after the long stay in Vientiane.
“I’ve heard that silver-made rings and necklaces are very good quality and available in Vientiane. We’ve now got some free time to tour the city after some hard matches in SEA Games.”
Reform will benefit athletics
Head of the athletics section of the National Sports Administration Duong Duc Thuy said he is considering the professionalisation of the athletics federation in the future.
The Viet Nam athletics team finished third on the medal tally behind Thailand and Indonesia after the last competition yesterday.
Viet Nam just won seven golds in the SEA Games, while Thailand doubled that total to win overall victory.
“Our athletes did their best. In the previous SEA Games in Thailand two years ago, Vietnamese athletes also bagged eight golds,” Thuy said.
“We really want the athletics federation to become professionalised as soon as possible. It will help athletes record better results,” he said.
As scheduled, every Vietnamese athlete who won a SEA Games gold medal, will be given a cash prize of VND25 million (US$1,300), while the silver and bronze medallists will get VND15 million and VND10 million respectively.
Thuy said athletes could benefit in the future from highly lucrative sponsorship if the federation improved its marketing.
Currently, it is rare for businesses to fund athletics.
Football fans out in force
More than 20,000 Vietnamese fans flocked to the Laos capital of Vientiane yesterday to support their team against Malaysia in the men’s football final at the National Stadium.
Many of them arrived on Wednesday to cheer the female’s team in their quest to wrest gold from Thailand.
A ticket agent for VietnamAirlines, Sopha Chanthavong, said yesterday that the carrier was adding an extra flight today to transport Vietnamese fans from Ha Noi and HCM City to Vientiane.
Both flights are already fully booked, while the Lao Airlines flight on the same route is also sold out.
Border traffic between Viet Nam and Laos is already on the rise, with the Lao Bao-Dansavanh checkpoint in Savannakhet Province seeing a marked increase from December 13 to 15.
Viet Nam won the women’s football tournament yesterday after beating Thailand 3-0 on penalty shoot-out. — VNS