- 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.