The 2019 SEA Games officially started last November 3rd at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Although men’s football just started in the latter part of November, the games have been rather intense and results have been interesting as the reigning SEA Games football champion, Thailand, lost to Indonesia in the Group B match last 26th November. However, that’s not just a blow to the team’s start of the tournament, but just a fire starter.
According to Fox Sports, it’s been reported that two of Thailand’s players, Ekanit Panya, attacking midfielder, and Marco Ballini, center back for Akira Nishino’s team. 21-year-old Thai-Italian player, Ballini suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the final practice rounds in the last six months prior to the SEA Games.
In a post he shared with his fans and followers, Ballini expressed his agony saying “Life put me in front of another obstacle. My ACL tore yesterday. I promise to everyone and especially to myself that I will overcome this, and I’ll be back stronger than ever before.” Ballini posted on Facebook.
Ekanit on the other hand who is in Nishiro’s top players will be missing the rest of the SEA Games. Chiangrai, Ekanit’s club announced that the player will be spending two months recovering from knee surgery from an injury he incurred as well.
“Ekanit will undergo surgery on his injured knee and is expected to be sidelined for at least two months. The club will update the fans on Ekanit’s progress,” the official league account posted on social media. There’s much to expect as Thailand goes through with the SEA Games with just 19 players in their arsenal.