Thai football team expelled from Olympic qualifiers
BANGKOK, Thailand - Thailand has been kicked out of the 2012 men's Olympic qualifying competition round for fielding an ineligible player, local media reported on Tuesday.
The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) told the Bangkok Post they would appeal after being thrown out following a first-round penalty shootout victory over Palestine.
The Thais were set to face Bahrain in the next round of regional qualifiers for next year's London Olympics before the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) stepped in, according to the paper.
The AFC punished Thailand for fielding suspended player Sucharit Chanthakul during the first leg in February, the report added.
"We have been formally informed by the AFC about the matter," FAT secretary general Ong-art Korsinkha told the paper. "We are appealing."
Neither the AFC or FAT were immediately available for comment.
Soccer's governing body FIFA would not confirm or deny Thailand's expulsion but said an investigation was under way.
"FIFA has a case open with Thailand," FIFA told Reuters in an email, adding that it could not comment further.