BANGKOK — A 23-year-old footballer has been indefinitely suspended from playing on the national team due to allegations he attempted to rape a 17-year-old girl last week.
Atit “Back” Daosawang is charged with abducting a minor for a lewd purpose over an April 10 incident which prompted a criminal investigation that is still ongoing. That was enough grounds to disqualify him from playing for Thailand, said national team manager Kiatisuk Senamuang.
“This case should be a moral lesson for the national team and club footballers,” Kiatisuk said at Tuesday’s news conference. “They have to maintain good behavior both on and off the field.”
Kiatisuk said Atit would be allowed back onto the team after he “reforms his behavior.” The manager did not specify any timeline. The ban means that Atit will miss Thailand’s upcoming final qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Muangthong United, which counts Atit among its defenders, also announced Sunday that Atit’s pay would be halved for six months as punishment. Further action may be taken, the club said, depending on the results of the investigation.
Atit stands accused of attempting to rape a 17-year-old schoolgirl at his residence in Nonthaburi on the night of April 10. According to the complaint, Atit and the victim were out together, and he volunteered to drive her home. Instead of taking her home, he drove her to his home where he tried to drag her into his bedroom, but the girl managed to flee.
In an Instagram post on April 11, Atit denied the allegations, but on Sunday at a news conference, the footballer reversed his stance and admitted the incident did happen and apologized to the victim and her family.
However, Atit insisted he had no intention to sexually assault the victim.
“Let me insist that I had no intention to violate her or break any laws,” Atit said.
Police have charged him with abducting a minor with lewd intent, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail.
The victim’s father told reporters at a Nonthaburi police station on Monday that his family would not settle or accept any compromise with Atit.
“I told his mother that I cannot forgive him for what he did,” the victim’s father said. “Every man likes to think that if they are handsome and rich, any woman will be easy. But women aren’t all the same. I want to teach him a lesson.”
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