Indonesia won the gold medal in men's football on Tuesday after defeating 16-time champions Thailand 5-2 in a match that featured two brawls and eight red cards.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo praised his players for their "winner mentality" and said that the country has waited 32 years to be champions in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia's victory over Thailand in the men's football final of the SEA Games upset some Thai players, who were seen brawling on the pitch. The Thailand Football Association (FAT) has since issued a statement expressing its disappointment and apologizing for the chaotic incident that occurred off the pitch.
“Nonetheless, apart from the deficient performance of our national team, the association would like to express our disappointment and apologize for the incident that occurred during the match, which appeared to all spectators both in the stadium and fans around the world, hence, this incident has caused serious damage to the Thailand National Football Team,” the FAT said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The FAT said that images appeared to all the fans, greatly damaging Thailand's national team. It added that the staff and coach, who represent all Thais, must maintain calm emotions under high pressure at all times and will form a committee to investigate all those involved in the chaotic incident, adding those found responsible will be punished.
“Whereas, the team coaching staff are regarded as representatives of the FA Thailand, Thai football, and Thai people, who are expected to exemplify professionalism at all times,” the FAT said.
“In the event, they must approach each responsibility with a sense of maturity and remain steadfast amidst the immense pressure they face with the remarkable ability to resist temptation under such circumstances, which is commendable.”
Cambodians have been left outraged after a video surfaced of Thai football player Jonathan Khemdee throwing his silver medal and a Southeast Asian Games mascot into the crowd after the match.
Chum Kosal, a government official, posted on Facebook that the Thai football player had lost character as a player and called his act despising the host Cambodia.
“The medal and doll representing the SEA Games given to this player are of great value, not everyone gets it, [it is] only awarded for those who have mastered work in events. The Thai Football Association should educate this player,” Kosal posted.
Another Facebook user, Hm Sophary, commented, “As the host, Cambodia does not want such pictures from the Indonesian and Thai players.”
Dony Pratama posted on Twitter, “Thailand lost the match and its reputation, poor sportsmanship from those coaching staff who ran over to the Indonesian bench.”
“Either they ruin their reputation or just show their true face (which was previously clouded by the glittering regional achievements).”
Another Twitter user, Hanny Agus Andrian, posted, “Positive response, I hope Thailand will remain a good opponent for Indonesia, can our federation PSSI be able to act like this too? Remember #usutuntas the tragedy in Kanjuruhan.”
Ganesha Ramasamy also commented, “International football federation and FIFA should ban [the] Thailand team from participating from international level [and] discipline the club with [a] fine.”
Another user Ah Kit said, “Should ban these two countries for play football... always fighting.”
Speaking to Thai media inside the Olympic Stadium, Khemdee said he was disappointed with the referee, who was unable to control players getting into a fight. He added that it was his last match for the Thai national team and he would like to focus on his local league.
“I think for me, it’s a big mistake from the referee. You know when you have football, you need to have fair play... I feel like the referee could not control the game. We can see, you know, everyone fights,” Khemdee said.
Twenty minutes into the first half, Indonesia's Alfeandra Santosa made a long throw into the penalty box. Muhammad Sananta headed the ball, which deflected off a Thai defender's knee and went past goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart into the net.
As the first half came to an end, Indonesia’s captain Rizky Ramadhani took a long shot from just outside the penalty box. Sananta ran over and kicked it over the head of Thai goalkeeper Rakyart to make it 2-0 for Indonesia.
Thailand pulled one goal back in the 64th minute when Anan Yodsangwal headed in a corner kick to make the score 1-2.
Indonesia thought they had won the game after referee Matar Ali Al-Hatmi Qasim of Oman blew the whistle for a free kick to Thailand. However, substitute Yotsakon Burapha scored to equalize with Thailand in the 90th minute, making the final score 2-2.
After scoring the equalizing goal, Burapha ran off the pitch and into the Indonesian side to celebrate. This sparked a massive brawl between the two teams, which officials and military police officers had to intervene to calm down.
The draw also took the game to extra time, in which Irfan Jauhari scored for Indonesia after a Thai defensive mistake, making it 3-2, which led to a second brawl. A Thai official was seen punching an Indonesian official in the stomach as military officials tried to separate them.
The brawl involved kicks and an Indonesian official was also seen falling on the grass. Thai keeper Rakyart was also seen hitting Komang Trisnanda in the side face.
Rakyart got a red card after the brawl. Three other Thai and four Indonesian players were also dismissed.