Thursday 18 July 2019, 06:55

Thai deal for former Japan mentor Nishino 

  • Akira Nishino appointed Thailand coach

  • Nishino led Japan to last-16 at Russia 2018

  • War Elephants will commence their Qatar 2022 qualifiers in September

Thailand will be led throughout the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ campaign by Akira Nishino after the veteran Japanese coach was appointed to the role on Wednesday.

The 64-year-old took Japan to within a whisker of a historic World Cup quarter-final appearance last year in Russia. Appointed only two months before the tournament, the former international midfielder saw his side suffer a last-gasp defeat against Belgium in the Round of 16.

"(Nishino's) appointment marks a historic milestone for Thai football being first Asian head coach to manage the Thailand national team," the Football Association of Thailand said in a statement.

Interim coach Sirisak Yodyardthai took the War Elephants into the last-16 at the AFC Asian Cup in January – their first knockout stage qualification for 47 years.

Nishino will also manage the national U-23 team with Thailand to host the AFC U-23 Championship next year.

Thailand’s road to Qatar 2022 will commence in September with Wednesday’s draw pitting the War Elephants in Group G alongside United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.