Thailand’s national football team has officially relieved head coach Akira Nishino of his duties, as announced by official sources.
This decision follows a disappointing end to Thailand’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying campaign, where they drew one and lost two of their final three matches to finish fourth in Group G behind Vietnam, the UAE and Malaysia.
In total, Nishino oversaw eight competitive matches with the senior team, all of which came in the aforementioned World Cup qualifying campaign. The side registered a total of two wins, three draws and three defeats to collect just 9 points in total.
Meanwhile, in his role as the U23 team head coach, Nishino also oversaw the side’s performance at the AFC U23 Championships in Thailand last January, guiding the young War Elephants to the quarter finals where they were eventually eliminated by Saudi Arabia.
Following the end of the World Cup qualifying, Nishino opted to return to his native Japan instead of accompanying the team back to Thailand, causing a discord between him and the Football Association hierarchy. Assistant coach Anurak Srikerd was placed in temporary charge of the senior and U23 sides, and will likely remain as such until a replacement is found.
The War Elephants’ next task will be participating in the regional AFF Championships in December, and they also await the draw for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign which will be played early next year. Meanwhile, the U23 side will be back in action with Asian qualifiers of their own scheduled for November of this year.