Brazilian hero Dunga throws hat into ring for Thai coach post

Brazilian hero Dunga throws hat into ring for Thai coach post
Dunga taking charge of training when he was still the national coach of Brazil. Photo: AFP
Published: 8:50 PM, April 21, 2017
Updated: 9:01 PM, April 21, 2017

BANGKOK — Football Association of Thailand (FAT) bosses may end up with a headache as they consider the avalanche of applications they have received for the role of new national team coach.

The number of candidates vying for the job further increased this week with news that former Brazil coach Dunga and ex-Ghana boss Milovan Rajevac have thrown their hats in the ring.

The job is vacant after Kiatisuk Senamuang quit last month following the national side’s heavy defeats in the 2018 World Cup qualifying round.

Dunga’s agent Nathan Hall said Dunga, who has had two spells as coach of his country’s national team, had also received an offer from a Chinese Super League club.

”Dunga is currently in Brazil. He is negotiating with a team in China. He will come to Thailand if he fails to reach an agreement with the Chinese club,” he said.

Dunga captained Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning side, but was sacked as coach of Brazil last year following dismal results at the Copa America Centenario.

Hall also said if the FAT was not interested in Dunga, he still has other clients for the FAT to consider.

These include Spain’s Juande Ramos, who has guided Sevilla to two Uefa Cup titles, and Croatia’s Zlatko Dalic, who steered Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates to the AFC Champions League final last year.

”The two coaches are currently unemployed and are looking for a job,” Hall said.

Serbia’s Rajevac had a two-hour meeting with Somyot and FAT technical chairman Witthaya Laohakul this week.

Rajevac took Ghana to the quarter-finals at the 2010 World Cup, and was fired as coach of Algeria last year.

Former Iraq coach Jorvan Vieira has also sent his profile to the FAT, officials said.

The Brazilian was coach of Iraq when they defied all the odds to win the 2007 Asian Cup.

Other candidates include former Netherlands boss Frank Rijkaard, ex-Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen, and former Thailand coach Winfried Schaefer.

According to reports, several other coaches are interested in the job or wanted by the FAT include Brazilian legend Zico, former Japan coach Takeshi Okada, former Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella, former Japan U23 team coach Makoto Teguramori, former SCG Muang Thong United boss Dragan Talajic, and ex-Japan manager Philippe Troussier.

The FAT says it has in the region of 100 million baht a year (S$4.06 million) to pay the new coach but Witthaya admitted that the salary demands of some coaches were too high.

”We have talked to several coaches but we have a limited budget,” said the former Thai national coach and player.

“However, we have a lot of choice and no one is favourite. We want a coach who can create a good atmosphere in the team and bring out the players’ potential

“We hope we get a new coach by the end of this month.”

Thailand, who are out of contention for a ticket to Russia 2018, have three games left in Group B of Asia’s final World Cup qualifying round - two home matches against the UAE on June 13 and Iraq on Aug 31, and an away game in Australia on Sept 5.