Indonesia coach denies putting pressure on referees at U23 Asian Cup

By Trung Thu   May 2, 2024 | 02:59 am PT
Coach Shin Tae-yong denied any attempt to put pressure on the referees and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) before the third-place playoff against Iraq in the 2024 U23 Asian Cup.

After Indonesia lost 0-2 to Uzbekistan in the U23 Asian Cup semifinals, Indonesian players and public opinion criticized the referees, especially for captain defender Rizky Ridho’s straight red card.

Indonesia had a similar reaction when they lost 0-2 to hosts Qatar in the opening match of the group stage. The Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) even sent a complaint against the referee to the AFC, but it was rejected.

Coach Shin Tae-yong (L) talks with the referee during Indonesias 0-2 defeat to Uzbekistan in the U23 Asian Cup semifinals on April 29, 2024 Photo by AFC

Coach Shin Tae-yong (L) talks with the referee during Indonesia's 0-2 defeat to Uzbekistan in the U23 Asian Cup semifinals on April 29, 2024 Photo by AFC

Shin was said to be unhappy with the referee's work in the semifinals. At the press conference before the third-place playoff with Iraq on Thursday, the South Korean coach was asked if his expression of disappointment was intended to put pressure on referees.

"I have no intention of putting pressure on the referees or AFC," Shin said. "I want AFC and the players to develop. I also want the level of all teams to improve."

The 53-year-old coach emphasized that everyone must respect each other, including referees, players and coaches.

"If everything goes like that, nothing bad will happen in the match," he added.

The defeat against Uzbekistan made Indonesia miss their goals of reaching the final and winning qualification to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The top three teams at the 2024 U23 Asian Cup qualify automatically for the Paris Games, and Iraq and Indonesia will meet in Thursday’s playoff to decide the remaining place.

Shin called on the players to show passion and desire to achieve this.

"This match is very difficult, especially when we are physically and mentally exhausted after the game against Uzbekistan. The outcome of the match will be decided by how we recover, as well as our desire to win," Shin said.

Indonesia will have the return of striker Rafael Struick after suspension. However, the team will miss defenders Rizky Ridho and Justin Hubner, while Marselino Ferdinan’s ability to play is up in the air due to his fitness.

The Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium is expected to be filled with Iraqi and Indonesian fans. The match can surpass the biggest attendance of the tournament this year when Qatar and Japan played in the quarterfinals with 9,573 spectators.

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