Ekanit Panya has made the decision to withdraw from the “War Elephants” squad for the 2023 Asian Cup, as reported by Thai media. The midfielder expressed his desire to join the host club Urawa Red Diamonds to focus on preparations for the upcoming season. Thailand’s head coach, Masatada Ishii, responded by calling midfielder Picha Autra as his replacement.
Siam Sport disclosed that Ekanit is prioritizing optimal preparation for the new Japanese football season, especially following the appointment of the new coach, Per-Mathias Hogmo, at Urawa Red Diamonds.
On January 7, the Thai national team commenced its preparations for the 2023 Asian Cup finals with the first training day. The initial session, involving 17 players, lasted approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. The squad is set to be complete with 26 players by January 8.
Discussing the team’s readiness for the 2023 Asian Cup, coach Masatada Ishii remarked on the unfortunate absence of Chanathip Songkrasin and Teerasil Dangda due to injuries. However, he sees this as an opportunity for other players. The team is gearing up for a practice match with U23 Thailand, providing Thai players with the chance to assess their physical fitness and implement the team’s tactical strategies.
The Thai national team’s primary goal for the 2023 Asian Cup is to advance past the group stage and make a deep run in the tournament.