Indonesia coach slaps player on training ground ahead of Vietnam clash

By Nam Anh   March 19, 2024 | 07:17 pm PT
Indonesia coach slaps player on training ground ahead of Vietnam clash
Coach Shin reacts to the referee during Indonesia's 1-3 loss to Iraq at Asian Cup in January 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Shin Tae-young got angry with striker Ramadhan Sananta during the training session on Monday, before the game against Vietnam in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Indonesia national team trained at Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex. According to Kompas, the highlight of the session was the conflict between coach Shin and Sananta. Shin scolded Sananta in front of the whole team and even slapped him in the face. Sananta also got angry.

When asked about the incident, Shin said: "I did it to help Senanta concentrate. He didn’t follow my instructions during training."

Sananta was part of the Indonesia national team for the 2023 Asian Cup, but did not play any match due to injury. In the national league this season, he scored eight goals in 21 matches for Persis Solo.

Indonesia are training to prepare for two games against Vietnam in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. Shin and his team will host Vietnam at home stadium Gelora Bung Karno on March 21, then play the away game in Hanoi at My Dinh Stadium on March 26.

In the most recent encounter, Indonesia beat Vietnam 1-0 at the Asian Cup in January. This is Shin's first victory after many encounters with Vietnam since becoming Indonesia head coach in 2020. This win also ended Indonesia's eight-year streak of only draws and losses against Vietnam.

When the two teams meet again in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Shin is determined to beat Vietnam in both games at all costs. His team are rated higher with 10 naturalized players in the squad, most of whom are from the Netherlands.

Last week, defender Do Duy Manh said that he doesn't know "if Vietnam will play Indonesia or Netherlands", which is a comment on the fact that Indonesia have too many naturalized players.

Coach Shin was not pleased with this comment. He said: "Maybe he didn't read carefully. All naturalized players have Indonesian descent. If the players have Indonesian nationality, they can play for the national team."

In group F, Vietnam are second with three points, after winning 2-0 against Philippines and losing 0-1 to Iraq in November last year. Indonesia have one point as Philippines, but are at the bottom of the table because of poor goal difference.

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