June 8, 2023

See why Thai FA suspended two players for six months

May 23, 2023

Two players from Thailand have received six-month bans for their involvement in the mass brawls that occurred during the men’s football final at the Southeast Asian Games.

The match took place in Cambodia, where Indonesia emerged victorious with a 5-2 scoreline in extra time.

The conflicts initially erupted between the team benches after Thailand managed to score a stoppage-time equalizer. Another altercation followed when Indonesia took a 3-2 lead during extra time in Phnom Penh.

Apart from the players, a goalkeeping coach and two team officials have also been handed one-year bans. The Football Association of Thailand explained that goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart and substitute Teerapak Pruengna received shorter suspensions due to their young age, the pressure of the match, and their subsequent apologies.

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Rakyart was among the four players who received red cards after he ran almost the entire length of the pitch to deliver a diving punch at an opponent.

The Thai FA issued a statement emphasizing that as adults, the goalkeeping coach and team officials should have demonstrated maturity in controlling the situation and setting a positive example for the players, who are under the age of 22. It was deemed inappropriate for them to lead or participate in such incidents.

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Following the match, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced its intention to conduct an investigation into the events that transpired.

During the game, Indonesia was leading 2-1, courtesy of first-half goals from Ramadhan Sananta when their players and coaching staff mistakenly celebrated, believing the referee’s whistle signaled a free-kick for Thailand as the game’s conclusion.

Thailand’s Anan Yodsangwal equalized after the free-kick, prompting Thai players to celebrate by running toward the Indonesia bench, thereby triggering the initial brawl.

Shortly after the start of extra time, Indonesia’s Irfan Jauhar scored, which led to a second altercation with punches and kicks exchanged before security officers intervened.

Both teams had a player sent off, and members of the coaching staff were also dismissed following the second incident.

Indonesia secured their first Southeast Asian Games gold medal since 1991 with goals from Fajar Rahman and Beckman Putra, while Thailand had two more players sent off after receiving second yellow cards.

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