The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) yesterday said that it was investigating “acts of violence” after two mass brawls and four red cards marred the men’s final of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Indonesia on Tuesday defeated Thailand 5-2 in extra-time in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, in a match that saw clashes between players and coaches of both sides.
Thailand, who have since apologized and launched their own investigation, ended the bad-tempered final with eight players on the field.
One of those sent off was goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart after he ran half the length of the pitch to deliver a diving punch to an Indonesian opponent.
“The AFC is disappointed with the disorderly incidents at the SEA Games football final,” a spokesperson for the governing body for soccer in Asia said.
“The AFC underlines the importance of fair play, mutual respect and sportsmanship, and takes a zero tolerance approach towards all such acts of violence, which threaten the physical integrity of players and officials,” they said.
Men’s soccer at the biennial SEA Games is played between under-23 sides.
The final had been billed as a chance for Indonesia to restore some pride following a deadly stadium disaster and the loss of hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
However, the game would be remembered for the scenes that began in the 97th minute when Thailand — who had been 2-0 down — scored to make it 2-2 and force extra-time.
Thai officials celebrated their late leveler by running over to the Indonesia bench, prompting the first melee.
When Indonesia took the lead back early in extra-time, their officials returned the favor, with even more incendiary results.
Sumardji, a member of the team staff who like many Indonesians goes by one name, told TVOne that their players “returned the provocation and I chased them and shouted: ‘Don’t.’”
“But suddenly I got hit here [in the mouth] and I fell down,” he said.
Kicks were landed as well as punches. Both teams had a player sent off, and members of their coaching staff were also dismissed.
As the Thai team’s discipline crumbled, another two of their players were sent off during extra-time for second yellow cards.
The Football Association (FA) of Thailand said it would punish anyone found to have been in the wrong.
“The FA of Thailand must apologize for the clash on the touchline,” it said in a statement, adding it would “set up a committee to investigate those involved as soon as possible and will take decisive measures.”
The chairman of the Football Association of Indonesia pointed the finger at Thailand.
“Sometimes we got provoked and then we fell into it,” Erick Thohir told Metro TV.
“I warned earlier that this is a provocation, they wanted us to lose. We were beaten, trampled on and cheated,” he said.
HATS OFF: After Sinner became the first man to beat the Serbian in a singles match at the Davis Cup since 2011, Djokovic said all he could do was congratulate his opponent A “proud” Jannik Sinner on Saturday beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic twice in one day to send Italy into the Davis Cup final with a 2-1 win over Serbia in Malaga. Italy, who won the trophy for the first and only time in 1976, was yesterday to face 28-time winners Australia. Sinner, who has triumphed three times in four clashes across 11 days against the usually unstoppable Djokovic, crucially kept Italy in the tie by beating the 24-time Grand Slam winner 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 in the second singles rubber. Sinner and Lorenzo Sonego then defeated Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-4 in
League of Legends (LoL) e-sports clubs in Taiwan are next year to face tougher competition to secure spots in top international tournaments as Riot Games, the game’s developer, is attempting to bolster the weakening e-sports ecosystem in much of Southeast Asia. In a statement on Monday, Riot announced a new upgrade to the Pacific Championship Series (PCS) — a professional league comprising League of Legends clubs in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asian countries except Vietnam — to create a more competitive and sustainable ecosystem. It plans to add the top three League of Legends Japan League (LJL) contenders to the
David Benavidez on Saturday retained the interim world super middleweight belt by stopping Demetrius Andrade after the sixth round, while in Ireland, Katie Taylor avenged her only professional loss by beating Chantelle Cameron in a majority decision to become a two-weight undisputed champion. In what was billed as clash of styles that could go the distance between unbeaten 168-pounders (76.2kg), Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) looked more like a clinician with a dominating performance before Andrade’s corner requested the stoppage after the sixth round in Las Vegas. Andrade (32-1) suffered the first loss of his career. Benavidez is widely recognized as the world’s best
AC Milan starlet Francesco Camarda on Saturday made history after becoming the youngest player to compete in Serie A during their 1-0 win over ACF Fiorentina. Attacker Camarda took to the field in the 83rd minute at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza aged 15 years, eight months and 15 days, replacing Luka Jovic. “He’s got a lot of talent and intelligence, he knows that he needs to work harder than everyone else,” Milan captain Davide Calabria said after the match. Camarda, who made headlines when he scored a bicycle kick against Paris Saint-Germain in the UFA Youth League, had little to do as Milan largely