Indonesia officials want AFF to investigate 'unfair' Vietnam-Thailand game

By Hoang An   July 11, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
Indonesia officials want AFF to investigate 'unfair' Vietnam-Thailand game
Indonesia players cry after being eliminated from the U19 AFF Championship on July 10, 2022. Photo courtesy of Bola
The 1-1 Vietnam-Thailand draw Sunday night that indirectly eliminated them from the group stage of U19 AFF Championship was ‘unfair’ and should be investigated, Indonesian team officials say.

"Vietnam and Thailand were supposed to engage in fair play, but they didn’t. I’m not happy and I feel offended by the result," said Indonesia coach Shin Tae-yong.

When the score was 1-1, Vietnam and Thailand slowed down the tempo in the last 10 minutes with no intention of scoring, since both teams had secured a slot in the semifinals.

Vietnam passed the ball around between the defenders and the keeper, while Thailand did not go for the ball. Some Thai players displayed signs of exhaustion.

The draw was enough to send both Vietnam and Thailand to the semifinals. In the stands, Indonesia supporters were not happy because they were eliminated despite beating Myanmar 5-1 in the previous match. They had 11 points, just like Vietnam and Thailand, but had failed to score against both teams, while Vietnam and Thailand scored against each other in this game.

"It’s clear that they are scared of Indonesia. Vietnam and Thailand know Indonesia are getting stronger, so they had to do that," Shin said.

Although Indonesia had the best goal difference (+15), followed by Vietnam (+9) and Thailand (+6), in this tournament, when teams have the same number of points, the first criteria to rank them is head-to-head results, then comes the head-to-head goals and finally, the goal difference.

"Such criteria are no longer been used in FIFA and AFC tournaments. I find it strange that AFF decided to keep them still," he added.

Mochamad Iriawan, President of PSSI (All Indonesian Football Association), wrote on his Instagram on Monday afternoon that he and PSSI have sent a written complaint to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF).

Indonesia manager Endri Erawan said they want the AFF to investigate the match.

"If it was a fair-play game, they would have attacked and scored more. I hope that AFF will investigate this match. If it’s a fair game then continue, but if it’s not, they should consider removing Vietnam and Thailand from the tournament," Erawan said.

With this elimination, Indonesia ended their streak of advancing to the semifinals of U19 AFF Cup three consecutive times.

"I believe that Indonesia are the strongest team in the tournament and deserved to top group A. We were only eliminated because of the tournament’s criteria," Erawan said.

Vietnam will play their semifinal match Wednesday against Malaysia.

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