Thailand drop Sweden-born defender from 2019 SEA Games camp for lying about injury

Thailand Kevin Deeromram

Thailand head coach Akira Nishino has dropped Kevin Deeromram from his squad after the defender failed to report to the U-23 national team camp.

The 22-year-old Port FC star was among probables named by Nishino for the camp ahead of the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines and the 2020 AFC U23 Championship that Thailand will host in January 2020.

The left-back had pulled out of the national team camp citing an injury. However, it has emerged that Kevin was among the players who were named in a warm-up game for Port FC during the same time U-23 national camp was being held.

Kevin was part of the Thailand U-23 national team that won the gold at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia two years ago.

 

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“We [coaches] presented [Kevin’s] name to Nishino for a place in the senior team but decided that he would be of more use in the U-23s. There are not many left wing-backs around who are below 23 years, so we wanted him to train with the youth team,” Thailand assistant coach Anurak Srikerd was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.

“But we were informed that he could not join the team because he had an injury. And this was not the first time — every time we gave him a national team call-up, he excused himself by citing injury,” Anurak told the Thai news outlet.

“The proper procedure would have been to report to the camp and then pull out. At least, when he is in the camp and he is not feeling well, the national team doctor can look after him. His acts show he doesn’t realise the importance of being a national team player,” the Thailand assistant coach added.

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“At first, Nishino said he will not call him for any national side again because Kevin doesn’t seem to be willing to play for the national team. However, we are not closing the door on him for the national team. We want him to change his attitude because he could be one of the key players for Thailand in the future,” he said.

Thailand are in Group B of the men’s football competition in the 2019 SEA Games along with Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and Laos. The matches are slated be held from November 26 to December 10.

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