FRIDAY, March 01, 2024

Thai FA chief quits over football field brawl during SEA Games

Thai FA chief quits over football field brawl during SEA Games

Pol General Somyot Poompanmoung, president of the Football Association of Thailand, said on Friday that he accepted the Thai National Olympic Committee’s decision and will resign.

The committee, chaired by outgoing Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, decided on Friday that Somyot should resign to take responsibility for the brawl that broke out between the Thai and Indonesian players during the SEA Games football final on May 16 in Cambodia.

Somyot, meanwhile, said he will dispatch letters clarifying the reason for his resignation to the Asean Football Federation (AFF), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Fifa (Fédération Internationale De Football Association).

Thailand was playing in the football finals against Indonesia in the 32nd SEA Games, which concluded with a 5-2 victory for Indonesia. The win at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium delivered the “Garuda” their first gold in the sport in 32 years, since 1991.

Indonesian striker Ramadhan Sananta netted two goals in the first half before Thailand’s Anan Yodsangwal made it 2-1 in the 64th.

Yotsakorn Burapha's last-second goal made it 2-2 before extra time was added. However, this triggered aggression from both sides.

After equalising, some Thai players celebrated in front of Indonesia’s bench resulting in a confrontation.

Tension boiled over when Indonesian players retaliated by also celebrating in front of Thailand’s bench. The incident led to a brawl between footballers and staffers on both sides, resulting in both teams getting seven red cards – four for players and three for staff – a record in a SEA Games event. The red-carded included three Thai players and one staff member.

One week after the incident, the Football Association of Thailand removed the three staff who participated in the brawl from their posts for a year, saying such behaviour was unacceptable.

They also suspended two footballers for six months, though the action was lenient since the players are under 22 in age.