Thai League 3 side Bangkok FC went viral worldwide for all the wrong reasons last weekend after their 3-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals North Bangkok University FC. The match itself wasn’t what made the Fire Bulls viral all over social media, instead, it was the violent conduct done by Bangkok FC player Aitsaret Noichaboon, who violently struck his North Bangkok University counterpart Supasan Ruangsuphanimit across the face with his elbow. The blow was so violent, Supasan had to be rushed into the hospital for treatment while Aitsaret was immediately sacked by his club for his unsportsmanlike conduct.
With North Bangkok University 3-0 up to the good in their promotion play-off mini-league match against Bangkok FC, Supasan clipped Aitsaret’s heels in the fourth minute of injury time, causing the ball to go out of play for a throw-in. Once regaining his bearings, an enraged Aitsaret went up towards Supasan and landed his elbow against his face, effectively knocking Supasan onto the pitch in one blow.
Understandably Aitsaret was ejected out of the pitch by the referee, while Bangkok FC followed things up by immediately terminating Aitsaret’s contract with the club.
“Bangkok FC would like to take a stand and not support the action,” said a statement posted by Bangkok FC on their official Facebook page, “The club has canceled the contract of the player. We would like to express our condolences for the incident, and will do everything possible to stop this happening again.”
Through their own Facebook page, North Bangkok University provided an update on Supasan’s condition, with the player having been rushed into the hospital after the incident, “Supasan has undergone a physical examination at Bangpakok-Rangsit 2 Hospital after player No. 6 of Bangkok FC intentionally attacked his face. After seeing a doctor they found that the upper lip area has a severe wound. The doctor, therefore, sewed a total of 24 stitches to cover the wound. The club will provide care and responsibility.”
The incident went viral on social media after James Dart, a sports editor for English media giants The Guardian, reposted the video of the incident on his Twitter. The response towards the video saw a universal outrage towards Aitsaret by the footballing fraternity, with Nuttadaj Vachirarattanawawong, a Muay Thai promoter, challenging Aitsaret to fight Muay Thai against actual fighters of the sport.
Besides being sacked by Bangkok FC, Aitsaret was then hit with a ban from footballing activities for 3 years by the Football Association of Thailand (FAT) on Saturday, a decision that was met by outrage by some Thai football observers as they felt that what Aitsaret had done warrants a lifetime ban from football.