Indonesia can't use suspended players in AFF U23 Championship

By Hoang Nguyen   August 18, 2023 | 05:55 pm PT
Indonesia can't use suspended players in AFF U23 Championship
Komang Teguh (number 4) during the brawl in SEA Games 32 men's football final between Indonesia and Thailand on May 16, 2023. Photo by AFP
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) sent a warning letter to the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) and said it would be prohibited to use suspended players at the 2023 AFF U23 Championship.

PSSI selected Titan Agung and Komang Teguh for the Indonesian U23 squad slated for the 2023 AFF U23 Championship in Thailand from August 17-26. However, a day before Indonesia’s opening game, AFC interfered with a warning.

"AFC has duly informed PSSI that the participation of Titan Agung and Komang Teguh in the AFF U23 Championship cannot be endorsed, as they remain subject to suspension."

Agung and Teguh are among the group of three players and four team members of the U22 Indonesia team who were suspended for six matches from the AFC, after participating in brawls with Thailand at the SEA Games 32 men's football final back in May. Seven members of Thailand also received the same penalty.

"Titan Agung and Komang Teguh are under suspension and the AFF U23 Championship is still subject to the penalty. Therefore, these players are not allowed play at this tournament," AFC stated.

After AFC’s announcement, Indonesia removed Agung and Teguh from their squad list for the AFF U23 Championship, leaving only 21 players on the team.

The men's football final of SEA Games 32 at Phnom Penh Stadium, Cambodia, on May 16 concluded with a 5-2 victory for Indonesia after 120 minutes. The game was marred by brawls between the two teams at the end of the second half and the start of extra time.

The incident has tarnished the image of Thai and Indonesian sports, and Southeast Asian football in general.

Indonesia are in group B of the AFF U23 Championship this year, along with Timor Leste and Malaysia. In the opening match, Indonesia will face Malaysia on Friday night.

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