BANGKOK – Thailand’s football association on Tuesday suspended several players and staff members from a national youth team following brawls during their South East Asia Games final against Indonesia in Cambodia last week.
A coach, goalkeeper and two staffers were suspended for one year and two other players received six-month bans, the association said in a statement, adding that the incident had a “detrimental effect on the image of Thai and Thai football”.
The first brawl was sparked when the referee blew his whistle close to full time and Indonesia’s players and coaches celebrated thinking they had won the game 2-1.
The whistle was in fact for a free kick, from which Yotsakorn Burapha scored an equaliser which triggered violent clashes between the two benches.
Indonesia went on to win the Under-23 match 5-2 after extra time, with Thailand reduced to eight players and Indonesia to 10 after four red cards were shown.
(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng in Bangkok, Prak Chan Thul in Phnom Penh; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Ed Osmond)