||ESPNsoccernet: ASEAN Championship
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Thai players and officials face ASEAN final ban
BANGKOK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Thai players and officials face
suspension from the second leg of the ASEAN championship final
following the team's dramatic first-leg walkout against rivals
Singapore, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) said on Thursday.
Singapore won a bitterly-fought match 2-1 on Wednesday after
the Thai players walked off the field for 15 minutes following a
hotly-disputed penalty award to Singapore eight minutes from
time. Singapore eventually scored the penalty and won 2-1.
Anyone found guilty of orchestrating the protest or
manhandling the referee could be banned from the second leg in
Bangkok on Sunday.
'The ASEAN Football Federation are studying the relevant
reports from the match commissioner and referees inspector,' an
AFF spokesman told Reuters.
'Based on the records action will be taken against anyone
guilty of wrong-doing in the 1st leg.'
A capacity crowd at the National Stadium booed and jeered as
the Thai team walked, preventing the penalty being taken.
Their tempers flared after Singaporean striker Noh Alam Shah
went down in the area and the Malaysian referee pointed to the
The players eventually returned after 15 minutes and
Mustafic Fahrudin fired the penalty high into the roof of the
net to put Singapore 2-1 ahead.
The walkout came amid growing bad blood between the two
countries following last year's takeover by Singapore state
investment arm Temasek of telecoms firm Shin Corp, founded by
ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Temasek's $3.8 billion acquisition of Shin Corp added fuel
to anti-Thaksin street protests that led to his removal in a
bloodless military coup on Sept. 19.
A spat erupted two weeks ago when Bangkok summoned the
Singaporean ambassador to protest a meeting between Thaksin and
one of the city-state's senior cabinet ministers.
Bangkok police said tight security arrangements were being
made to prevent angry scenes at Sunday's match, while big
screens would be put up outside the stadium for fans without
'The number of policemen will be enough to control the
crowd,' Metropolitan Police Spokesman Lt Col Pinit Maneerut told
'As usual, we will send sniffer dogs, bomb squads as well as
all plainclothes and riot police to the stadium.'