SEA champions Thailand in social media crackdown

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Defending SEA Games football champions Thailand have banned players from using social media in the build up to their opening match next week.

Elaborating on the ban, team manager Watanya Wongopasi said, “We want our players to stay focused during our preparations for the SEA Games so they are not allowed to use social media at the training camp.”

“We only have five days to train [before travelling to Malaysia] so we want the players to train hard without any distractions. We are only seeking the players’ cooperation and will not seize their mobile phones,” she was quoted by the Bangkok Post.

The Thai squad will be reduced from 26 to 20 players after the training camp ahead of Thailand’s opening game on Aug 15 against Indonesia in Kuala Lumpur.

The two-time defending champions have been grouped with Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Timor Leste in Group B.

Group A includes Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos and Brunei.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

Despite several injuries, Watanya said she was confident that Thailand can retain their title.