Thai club cut salary, suspend player for SEA Games final brawls

By Hieu Luong   May 24, 2023 | 06:26 pm PT
Thai club cut salary, suspend player for SEA Games final brawls
Midfielder Thirapak Prueangna represents Thailand in SEA Games 32. Photo by the Football Association of Thailand
Thai midfielder Thirapak Prueangna has been sanctioned by his club a day after being suspended by the Football Association of Thailand for brawling during last week’s SEA Games finals.

Thai club Buriram United have cut 25% of his salary for six months and suspended the 22-year-old for the period.

"A player must understand their image and reputation when they represent Thai football," the club statement read on Wednesday.

"If a player can’t control themselves, we can’t support them in the national team."

After the brawls between Thailand and Indonesia in the finals on May 16, the association (FAT) launched an investigation.

On Tuesday, they suspended Prueangna from playing for Thai teams at all levels for six months.

Goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart received a similar suspension, but his club Phrae United did not hand him additional punishment.

FAT said the players have received light penalties because they are still young and apologized after the match.

Goalkeeping coach Prasadchok Chokmoh, assistant coach Phatrawut Wongsripuek and coaching staff member Mayid Madada have been suspended from working for Thai football teams for a year.

The chaos during the finals started when Thailand’s Yotsakorn Burapha scored just before the final whistle to level 2-2 and the Thai players and coaching staff provoked Indonesia by running over the Indonesia's area and celebrating there. The action set off a brawl on the pitch.

When Indonesia’s Irfan Jauhari made it 3-2 in extra time, his team then provoked Thailand in similar manners, which led to another pitched battle.

The brawls at the SEA Games 32 men's football final between Thailand and Indonesia, May 16, 2023.

The referee gave five red cards to members of both teams, including keeper Rakyart.

Indonesia, with more men on the field, scored two more goals to seal a 5-2 victory and win their first SEA Games gold medal.

The incident dented the image of Southeast Asian football.

After FAT’s action, many people have suggested that the Football Association of Indonesia also need to punish their players and members who were involved in the brawls.

The Asian Football Confederation is also set to announce punishments for Thailand and Indonesia.

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