Former Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac has been fired by Thailand.
The decision comes on the heels of a shock 4-1 defeat to India in their AFC Asian Cup 2019 opener in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Rajevac’s job was on the line since the team’s disappointing semi-final exit to Malaysia in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 last month and it was reported that the coach’s future will hinge on the War Elephant’s performance in the continental championship.
However, with Thailand opening their campaign with a heavy defeat to the Indian national team, the FA Thailand have forced their hands in the issue and announced the termination of the contract of their head coach.
Sirisak Yodyardthai will take over as the head coach on temporary basis for the rest of the tournament.
Rajevac took charge of the Changsuek in 2017 after stints with Qatar and Algeria and is well known for taking Ghana’s Black Stars to the quarterfinals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa where they narrowly lost to Uruguay in penalty shootouts.
FA Thailand president Somyot Poompanmoung announced the coach’s departure in a letter to the Thailand football fans. In the letter Somyot described the team’s disappointing loss to India as the reason for firing the coach and said that Thailand have not been playing at the level that they should be.
“We are playing in the biggest football competition in Asia. This is something we have waited for very long and FA Thailand has fully supported the preparations of the national team to reach its highest potential before the competition with the intention of producing better results than before,” he wrote.
“But the result [against India] is not what is expected of the Thai national team and that our supporters deserve,” he wrote. “Just like all Thai football fans across the country, I am also disappointed with the result. But as the president of the football association, I cannot stand still with this problem,” Somyot added.
“I would like to announce the termination of the contract of the head coach of the Thai national team Milovan Rajevac and also announce the appointment of Sirisak Yodyardthai to perform the duties with the team.”
“Thai national team, with Choketawee Promrat as the assistant coach, will prepare the team for the next match in the AFC Asian Cup,” said Somyot thanking Rajevac and his coaching staff for their work with the national team.
Thailand will next face Bahrain on January 10 before playing hosts United Arab Emirates on January 14 in their final game in Group A.