U23 Asian Cup referees 'should quit': Indonesia coach

By Hoang An   May 3, 2024 | 04:05 pm PT
U23 Asian Cup referees 'should quit': Indonesia coach
Coach Shin Tae-yong during Indonesia's 1-2 defeat to Iraq in the U23 Asian Cup third-place playoff on May 2, 2024. Photo by AFC
Coach Shin Tae-yong has harshly criticized the referees of Indonesia's two games at the 2024 U23 Asian Cup after they finished fourth overall.

"I’m dissatisfied and disappointed with the referee's decisions in the opening match and semifinal game," Shin said after his 1-2 loss to Iraq in the third-place playoff on Thursday.

"Their decisions changed the outcome of the match. The main problem is their level and ability. The referees didn’t see what they should have seen and they need to quit their job."

Shin mentioned the opening game when Indonesia lost 0-2 to Qatar and then had the same outcome against Uzbekistan in the semifinals on April 29. The South Korean coach did not criticize the referees after the semifinals, but waited until when Indonesia lost the third-place playoff on Thursday to do so.

After the opening match, Shin also called the referee a comedian.

Football Association of Indonesia president Erick Thohir has filed a complaint against the referee.

After the semifinals, Indonesian media said that "VAR won, not Uzbekistan." VAR is the system of Video Assistant Referee.

However, in the quarterfinal victory against South Korea, Indonesian fans and media thanked the referee for doing a great job.

Shin also did shoulder some of the blame for Indonesia’s overall disappointing outcome: "We used almost the same starting lineup in all games of the tournament, except one or two positions. Therefore, the team couldn’t maintain their stamina and maybe that was the reason we failed," Shin said.

The U23 Asian Cup takes place about every three days and coach Shin prioritized using players with national team experience. Indonesia made history by competing in the tournament for the first time and finishing fourth overall.

Three top teams qualify for the Paris Olympics. Even though they lost third place, Indonesia still have a chance to attend the 2024 Olympics, through an intercontinental playoff with Africa’s Guinea in France on May 9.

After the third-place playoff defeat against Iraq, many Indonesian players burst into tears on the pitch. President of Indonesia Joko Widodo encouraged the players, saying that reaching the semifinals was already a laudable feat for Shin and his team.

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