Thailand FA agrees to Schafer's calls and organises four friendly dates before 2012 AFF Cup

The War Elephants coach has criticised the poor preparation available to the national team for crucial matches but has now got his way with four dates scheduled for matches
The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has responded to national team coach Winfried Schafer's open letter demanding more friendlies prior to the 2012 AFF Cup by scheduling in four new match dates.

Schafer had written to the FAT earlier in the week demanding the Thai Premier League (TPL) re-schedule cup and league fixtures to allow better preparation for the national team for the event which Thailand co-hosts with Malaysia, beginning in late November.

The German, who previously fumed at a lack of warm-up games for crucial World Cup qualifiers, requested friendlies in September and October in the open letter with the co-ordination from the TPL, whose schedule clashed with Fifa dates.

However, TPL president Dr Vichit Yambunreung has now decided to rearrange the FA Cup schedule on August 15 and the League Cup schedule on September 12, making it possible for the national team to play on these Fifa dates.

The August 15 fixture will see the national team take on a side of TPL foreign all-stars, whereby each club will lend one foreign star for the game, to reduce the affect on top clubs.

The War Elephants are expected to take on Myanmar in a friendly on September 12, with the squad gathering on September 10, while there will be another camp beginning on November 5, with matches to be scheduled on the November 14 and 18 against yet-to-be-determined opponents.

Follow Ben Somerford on

Follow Asia on and for the latest in Asian footballing news, features, and analysis