No punishment for Indonesian players in SEA Games football final brawls

By Hieu Luong   May 25, 2023 | 04:30 am PT
President of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) Erick Thohir said that he would not punish any member of Indonesia involved in the brawls during the SEA Games 32 football final last week.

After the melee in the final on May 16, the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) banned two coaching staff and an official from the Thai teams for one year and suspended two players for six months.

However, the PSSI said that they would not do so, because they believe Thailand initiated the melee.

"Why do we have to punish the players?" Thohir said during a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday afternoon.

"Of course, we will make some adjustments, but I think it's just a spontaneous act when the players are provoked and that can be tolerated."

Komang Agung (số 4) và thủ môn Soponwit Rakyart (áo vàng) đánh nhau sau khi tỷ số được nâng lên 3-2. Ảnh: AFP

Komang Agung (number 4) and goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart (yellow jersey) in a scuffle at SEA Games 32 final on May 16, 2023. Photo by AFP

Thohir affirmed that the football relationship between Indonesia and Thailand, Vietnam and other countries was very good. He said he respected the decision of the FAT, but emphasized that PSSI has its own opinions.

After the FAT’s decision on Monday, many fans suggested said that at least three Indonesia players and an assistant coach deserved to be sanctioned, including strikers Titan Agung and Ramadhan Sananta, as well as midfielder Komang Agung.

The ruckus in the final started at the end of the second half when the referee blew the whistle for Thailand to take a freekick, but made Indonesia think the time was up.

Coach Indra Sjafri and his assistants rushed onto the field for celebration, while striker Sananta ran across Thailand’s technical area to celebrate.

From that freekick, the ball found striker Yotsakorn, who scored in the ninth additional minute to equalize for Thailand and make it 2-2.

Many Thai team members immediately ran to Indonesia’s technical area, leading to a scuffle which Agung was said to have started.

In extra time, Irfan Jauhari scored to make it 3-2 and a number of Indonesia members went to Thailand’s technical area to celebrate. A longer brawl took place this time around.

Indonesian defender Komang hit a Thai player, then got into a boxing match with goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart, resulting in red cards for both.

Indonesia eventually won the match 5-2 and claimed their first SEA Games gold medal in 32 years.

The referee gave a total of seven red cards, including five for Thailand, alongside 12 yellows.

Brawls break at at the SEA Games 32 men's football final in Cambodia, May 16, 2023.

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