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Kiatisak tips Malaysia and Vietnam as major threats to Thailand at SEA Games

by Bangkok Post23 April 2015 Last updated at 17:34 PM

VTV.vn - Thailand coach Kiatisak Senamuang is wary of Vietnam and Malaysia at the SEA Games in June.

Champions Thailand will also face Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste in Group B of the 28th SEA Games of the biennial event to be held in Singapore.

Group A has only five teams — hosts Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines — after the draw was made last week.

The top two teams of each group advance to the semi-finals. The football tournament, which is for under-23 players, will kick off on May 29.

“It is a tough group and everybody wants to beat us,’’ said Kiatisak. “Malaysia and Vietnam are tough opponents although we should have few problems against Laos, Timor Leste and Brunei.”

The Thai training camp will begin on May 11 as the team will train at the Kirin Valley in Khao Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima. They will leave for Singapore on May 25.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s youth and sports ministry suspended all activities of the local soccer association (PSSI), setting the stage for further tension with world governing body Fifa.

The ministry said the sanction took effect yesterday and a transition team will take over PSSI’s duties, as the association had failed to respond to three warning letters from the ministry.

“PSSI was clearly proven to have ignored and violated the government policy through those warning letters,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry and PSSI have been at loggerheads for weeks over the eligibility of two clubs to compete in the Indonesia Super League.

The Indonesian Professional Sports Agency (Bopi), sanctioned by the ministry, wanted Persebaya Surabaya and Arema Indonesia to be blocked from playing, but PSSI had resisted.

Fifa had threatened the country with a ban over Bopi’s meddling in their affairs and said only the PSSI was recognised to make decisions.

Fifa takes a dim view of government interference in football affairs and a ban could prevent Indonesia from participating in the qualifying tournaments for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup.

As a result of the dispute, the Indonesia Super League was suspended after just two games, prompting Fifa to ask the minister of youth and sports to stop meddling in the running of the local football league.

“We will communicate with Fifa about this issue. We won’t be surprised if Fifa has a different view on this,” Gatot Dewa Broto, an official at the ministry, told Reuters.

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