Metfone C-League club Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng reacted yesterday after the Football Federation of Cambodia announced it would hand out fines and bans to players and coaches involved in last Sunday’s melee which left an opposition player hospitalised with a perforated eardum.
The FFC announced a slew of players were banned from competing in the Metfone C-League for three months and were also each handed 500,000 riel ($120) in fines. PKR’s Soeuy Visal and Nub Tola, who were red carded during Sunday’s match, received bans of four and two matches respectively, in addition to fines.
“First we’d like to express our sincere apologies to the player who was injured, said PKR coach Conor Nestor at yesterday afternoon’s press conference. “We’ve banned the players responsible and they also extend their apologies to him. They’ve sincerely told us this will never happen again.”
“Football is supposed to be a family. On Sunday, we let that family down. Our players let that family down and behaved badly, said the Irishman. “But they are not a piece of meat to be thrown on the ground. When they make a mistake they are still a part of our family. We have to make sure we are part of fixing this problem. That we don’t wash our hands and say that guy is a bad guy. Our footballers lost control of their emotions. Football is an emotional game.”
Tempers boiled over at the Svay Rieng Stadium as Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng and Ministry of National Defense players clashed in the second half of their match.
Ugly scenes saw a melee of players involved in trouble on the pitch and on the sidelines. PKR’s Nub Tola cynically brought down Army’s Song Chi-hoon with a tough tackle late in the second half. The grounded Korean lashed out striking Tola in the chest with his knee before Army’s Japanese midfielder Yudai Ogawa struck out in defense of his teammate.
Ogawa lashed out at opposition coaching staff which sparked a rush of players, coaches, and spectators to chase down the Japanese midfielder. After the crowd trouble had dispersed and the match resumed, the referee duly dished out four red cards – Nub Tola and Soeuy Visal of Svay Rieng and Ogawa and Chi-hoon of Army.
Ogawa suffered a perforated eardrum and will be out of action for over a month.
Asked whether the club thought the punishments as suitable, Ork Samnang, general manager, said his club would appeal the length of the bans.
“We will file an appeal to ask the Federation to reconsider. We feel the fine is too heavy an imposition We’re seeking for it to be reduced to two months,” said Samnang. “But Nub Tola and Soeuy Visal’s punishments we accept as reasonable.”
The club were also censured with a 2 million riel ($500 fine). They will play their next home game at a neutral venue.
The first spate of punishments was dished out on Tuesday, with Army announcing it had parted ways with Chi-hoon, while also handing a fine to Ogawa.
Matchweek nine of the C-League begins tomorrow with a glamour tie between table toppers Boeung Ket and six-time champs Phnom Penh Crown at RSN Stadium.
PKR will play their home match at the Old Stadium against Visakha. Soltilo Angkor and Angkor Tiger will also meet tomorrow for the Siem Reap derby.
Sunday will see Asia Europe United attempt to inflict more misery on winless Western.
Elsewhere, Army face Electricite du Cambodge, while National Police Commissary meet NagaWorld.