|ESPNsoccernet: ASEAN Championship|
PATTAYA, Thailand, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Thailand have escaped disciplinary action following their walkoff protest in the first leg of last week's ASEAN championship final against Singapore, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) said on Wednesday.The AFF have reprimanded the Thais, however, after the entire team stormed off the pitch to protest a dubious late penalty. The furious Thais sat on the sidelines for 15 minutes before eventually returning to the field, only for Singapore to convert the spot kick to take a 2-1 aggregate lead. Singapore secured a 1-1 draw in Sunday's highly charged return leg to win 3-2 on aggregate and take their third ASEAN championship title. 'There was a lengthy deliberation on the facts of the case and the Committee decided that there was evidence of dissent on the part of the Thailand team and this resulted in the delay of the restart of the match,' the AFF said in a statement. 'Having regard to the facts produced at the inquiry, we are of the opinion that reprimand would be fitting punishment in the circumstances.' Worawi Makudi, secretary-general of Thailand's soccer association (FAT), said Thailand respected the AFF's decision. 'The tournament is our tournament, as part of the ASEAN family, and we want to make it better and to be without any problems,' Worawi told Reuters. The penalty incident caused outrage in soccer-mad Thailand, prompting thousands of Singaporeans to cancel plans to attend the return leg for fear of reprisals. Thai newspapers had launched scathing attacks on the Singapore team, dubbing them 'cheats' and 'robbers'. The incident came amid growing bad blood between the two countries following last year's $3.8 billion takeover by Singapore's Temasek of telecoms giant Shin Corp, which belonged to the family of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thailand's coup-installed government recently suspended a nine-year exchange programme with the city state and tore up an invitation to its foreign minister after Thaksin was the guest of a Singapore cabinet minister.