Thailand sack coach Milovan Rajevac after humbling at hands of India

Milovan Rajevac was given just one match at the Asian Cup before he got the axe. (AFP)
Updated 07 January 2019
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Thailand sack coach Milovan Rajevac after humbling at hands of India

  • Coach given marching orders after just one match in the UAE.
  • Thailand were favorites to beat India in their Group A clash.

ABU DHABI: Thailand have fired coach Milovan Rajevac following the side’s humiliating 4-1 thrashing by India in their opening Asian Cup game on Sunday.
The 65-year-old Serb, who took charge of Thailand in 2017, paid the price after the War Elephants conceded three second-half goals to slump to a shock defeat in Abu Dhabi.
Thai football chiefs took a dim view of their Group A flop and acted swiftly to remove Rajevac the morning after.
“The result is not what is expected of the Thai national team and that our supporters deserve,” Thailand’s FA president Somyot Poompanmoung said.
“Like all Thai football fans across the country, I am also disappointed with the result. But as president of the football association, I cannot stand still with this problem.”
Former assistant coach Sirisak Yodyardthai will assume control of the team when they face Bahrain and hosts UAE in their remaining Group A matches.
Rajevac, who has had spells in charge of Algeria and Qatar, famously steered Ghana to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup where they were beaten on penalties by Uruguay.
But he was left shell-shocked by Thailand’s horror show against underdogs India, whose veteran striker Sunil Chhetri scored twice, overtaking Lionel Messi’s 65 international goals in the process.
Lamenting his side’s abject display, Rajevac admitted that India were worthy winners.
“They were phenomenal — they ran more, were more aggressive and wanted it more,” he said.
“They absolutely deserved to win. But we underperformed, especially in the second half.”
Rajevic has been criticized for his defensive style but the Serb clearly felt otherwise after watching Thailand over-run by a hungry India side.
“It’s not always about technical ability and skill on the ball,” he said. “We lacked power, strength and aggression. We need to put more pressure on the ball and show more passion.”
Thailand, appearing for the first time since co-hosting the Asian Cup in 2007, have now won just one of 21 games at the continent’s showcase competition.
India find themselves as unlikely leaders of Group A thanks to their first Asian Cup win in 55 years.
The Emiratis were held 1-1 by Bahrain in Saturday’s curtain-raiser.


Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

Updated 19 March 2019
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Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

  • Kingdom's athletes claim three golds, one silver and three bronzes on day four in Abu Dhabi.
  • Saudi Arabia medal tally now up to an impressive 25.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia enjoyed another good day at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi winning three golds, one silver and three bronzes to take their medal tally to an impressive 25 after four days.
Abdulaziz Alharthi got the day off to a great start in the pool, the 17-year-old from Jeddah picking up gold in the men’s 25m freestyle.
That was then followed up with the second gold of the day as Mohammed Alolayan powered home in the 5,000m. It was his second medal of the Games after he took home a bronze in the triathlon.
Moayed Aldarwish completed the hat-trick of golds coming home first in the 400m.


That was not the end of the success for the Kingdom as Fares Almateq and Naif Alshammari won silver in the men’s doubles table tennis. This was Fares’ second win of the week, having impressively won gold in the men’s singles event earlier.
Heba Shawli then became another multiple-medal winner when she took home the bronze in the softball throw event — she having won gold in the 25m run event.
Faisal Algosaibi and Faris Khouj, also part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team, each won bronze in their division of the 25m freestyle swimming.


Other winners of multiple medals include Hassan Alhadhariti, who won three golds and one silver in powerlifting; Sara Felemban and Jana Albeshri, who both won silver in bocce women’s singles and women’s team events, and Shahad Sunbul, who won silver in the bocce women’s team event and bronze in the bocce women’s singles event.