SINGAPORE (AFP) - Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-Yong expressed disappointment after four of his players were ruled out of the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final loss against Thailand on Saturday (Jan 1) for breaching the competition's Covid-19 protocols.
Rizky Ridho Ramadhani, Elkan Baggott, Victor Igbonefo and Rizky Dwi Febrianto were reported to have left their hotel for up to two hours in breach of the strict arrangements put in place for players and team officials for the duration of the month-long tournament in Singapore.
Following an investigation by an Asean Football Federation (AFF) disciplinary committee, it was decided the players had failed to follow controlled rules and were barred from involvement in the match.
"We host events like the Suzuki Cup 2020 under strict safe management measures to protect the participants of the tournament and the community," said Singapore Sport Institute chief Su Chun Wei.
"We had emphasised this to all teams competing in the Suzuki Cup 2020 and worked hard to provide a safe environment for the football players and other participants.
"The four players breached the regulations and put others' safety at risk. We will therefore be taking action against them."
Speaking after his side drew 2-2 with Thailand on Saturday to lose the final 6-2 on aggregate, Shin lamented the absence of the quartet and highlighted organisational issues which affected his team's preparation for the final.
"I have to thank the Singapore government, the Football Association of Singapore and Asean Football Federation for allowing us to have this tournament in Singapore in the midst of this Covid pandemic. However, I have to highlight some organisational issue that caught my attention," said the former South Korea midfielder.
"We were told this morning that the players would not be able to play in the match tonight. I was aware of the problem as the four players went out to buy essentials like shampoo and soap and we were informed of the penalty for that, which I totally understand.
"However, given the fact that we were locked in our hotel room for as long as one month, it is understandable that you run out of your necessities and essentials.
"We were on a controlled itinerary but at the same time, the two hotel floors that we occupied were not occupied only by us as there were other hotel guests staying there. On the weekend, there were also some also drunken wedding guests who came up to our floor and made a lot of noise which resulted in our players not getting proper sleep at night.
"Moving forward, if these issues can be properly addressed, it can ensure the well-being of our players to play good matches in the tournament."