The AFC Asian Cup 2019 match between India and Thailand produced an absolute thriller with the India emerging 4-1 unlikely winners. But the story surrounding the game is given more weight now since it has emerged that Thailand actually refused to play India in the lead up to the tournament.
A statement from Somyot Poompunmuang, the President of Football Association of Thailand (FAT) clearly indicates that the War Elephants did not quite consider the Indians worthy opponents in the lead up to the AFC Asian Cup, and picked China PR instead.
“The slot available for the national team’s training in Europe is May 28 to June 5, which is quite short. Moreover, there was resentment from some clubs in the domestic leagues. So we have opted to play a friendly game with a quality team instead,” Poompunmuang said in a general assembly meeting, as was reported by Sportskeeda.
“China and India both expressed interest in playing Thailand, but we can only arrange one match in a short time,” he said.
The ‘quality team’ he chose did not seem to help the Thai side too much though, as India thrashed them in the Group A encounter and reminded the world that they are capable of beating the best on their day.