Suzuki Cup: 4 Indonesian footballers out of final after flouting Covid-19 safety measures

Suzuki Cup: 4 Indonesian footballers out of final after flouting Covid-19 safety measures
Elkan Baggott celebrating his goal on Dec 19, 2021. He was one of the players who breached Covid-19 measures.
PHOTO: The Straits Times/Desmond Wee

SINGAPORE - Down 4-0 from the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup finals, Indonesia's woes were further compounded when four of their players were ruled out of the second leg on Saturday (Jan 1) after they were "found to have breached the controlled itinerary" in place for the tournament.

Shortly before the match against Thailand at the National Stadium, national sports governing body Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced in a press statement that the quartet of defenders Rizky Ridho Ramadhani and Elkan Baggott — Rizky started the first leg on Wednesday while Elkan came off the bench — and unused substitutes Victor Igbonefo and Rizky Dwi Febrianto would not play in the second leg.

The statement said that the Football Association of Singapore and the Asean Football Federation disciplinary committee confirmed the players had left their hotel one evening for up to two hours in breach of the arrangements.

Investigations began immediately and the Asean Football Federation (AFF) disciplinary committee was convened. After a thorough investigation, it was decided on Friday that the players had breached the controlled itinerary and would not participate in the match.

Singapore Sport Institute chief, Dr Su Chun Wei, said: "We host events like the Suzuki Cup 2020 under strict safe management measures to protect the participants of the tournament and the community.

"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. SportSG thanks the AFF for working with us closely on this matter."

To protect the health of participating players, match officials and the wider community, all 10 participating teams and match officials have been placed on a controlled itinerary for the entire duration of the competition.

Under the controlled itinerary, team members and match officials can only travel between their assigned hotels, training venues and competition venues. They cannot go anywhere or engage in any activity that is beyond the itinerary.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction. 

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