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FA Thailand Bans Players and Officials Following SEA Games Brawl

BANGKOK: The Football Association of Thailand followed through on its promise to take action against those involved in the now infamous brawl which took place during the SEA Games match against Indonesia last week.

Following an official apology for the national team’s behaviour on May 17, the FA of Thailand confirmed that a disciplinary committee would be investigating the incident upon the team’s return to Thailand. Today, the association announced bans of two players, two officials, and a coach resulting from their behavior on the field.

The goalkeeping coach and two officials received one year bans, while Goalkeeper Soponwit Rakyart and Substitute Teerapak Pruengna both received 6-month bans from the national team.

The length of the bans was based on the committee’s expectations of the responsibilities of leaders versus players, all of whom are under 22 years old. "The fact-finding team agreed unanimously that as adults, the goalkeeping coach and team officials should be mature enough to control the situation and set a good example for the players, who are aged under 22," the Thai FA said in a statement, "They should not [have] led or taken part in the incident."

In regards to the two banned players, the statement said, "While they took part in the incident, they were under match pressure and have apologised, and they are young -- these are reasons to decrease their penalty."

Despite many disruptions, Indonesia won the match and the gold medal that night with a score of 5-2.

SEA Games fans were especially disappointed with the actions of Jonathan Khemdee that night, who threw his silver medal into the crowd. Soon after, he announced his retirement from the national football team and was not addressed in the league’s disciplinary proceedings.

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