I didn't insult the referee: Park Hang-seo claimed over AFC penalty

Author: Amelia
Date: 14/02/2020

Although coach Park Hang-seo accepts the punishment of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), but remains firmly convinced that the blame lies elsewhere.

AFC announced Monday that it was fining $ 5,000 and suspended Park from four friendly games after receiving a red card in the 2019 SEA Games men's soccer final on December 10.

"I will accept and comply with the punishment of the AFC. But I can confirm that I have not insulted the referees. My English isn't good enough to do it anyway. After the game, I apologized to them after the game, " Park wrote in a letter sent from South Korea.

In the soccer game between Vietnam and Indonesia, Park stepped onto the field and argued with referees about a foul against one of his players, Nguyen Trong Hoang, who was knocked out by Osvaldo Haay. Instead of giving Haay a yellow card, the main referee Majed Al-Shamrani gave a throw-in to Indonesia.

After Park's loud response, Al-Shamrani decided to send the coach for an overreaction, which angered him even more, and only returned to discuss with the assistant referees along the sideline. The game was later delayed due to the accident.

AFC called his behavior "inappropriate." The suspension will however allow Park to manage the team during the official qualifiers of the 2022 Asian World Cup.

Park became the first coach of the national team to receive suspension from AFC.

"I received the red card after responding to a wrong decision. At that time, the game was growing more intense and players could get injured. So I told the referees that they should control the game more wisely," said Park.

Vietnam won the match 3-0 and clinched their very first gold medal in SEA Games men’s football.

"I apologize to the fans because they had to see my behavior on the field at that time," Park said.

Park went on to affirm that during his suspension time, the national team would continue to be well prepared for the 2022 World Cup qualifying games during his suspension period.

At the moment, Park is staying in South Korea, since all of the sport events in Vietnam were postponed due to the new coronavirus outbreak. On February 15, he will begin the preparation for the World Cup 2022 qualification clash with Malaysia on March 31.

The upcoming exhibition match with Iraq on March 26 may be the first game that Park has to sit out, although the game can be cancelled due to the current epidemic situation.