JAKARTA: Indonesia coach Aji Santoso has been banned for four games and fined by FIFA for accusing match officials of taking bribes during a 10-0 loss to Bahrain in World Cup qualifying.
The Indonesian Football Association and Santoso said on Wednesday they accepted the punishments but didn't rule out an appeal. Santoso, now coaching the national under-23 side, was fined $6,530.
Santoso was red-carded by Lebanese referee Andre Al Haddad in the 75th minute of February's match in Manama following allegations he accused Al Haddad of being bribed.
FIFA said Santoso told the officials "(there is) money involved (here)."
In the second minute, Al Haddad sent off Indonesia's goalkeeper and awarded four penalties to Bahrain, which needed to make up a nine-goal deficit on Qatar to have a chance of advancing to the next round. However, Qatar drew 2-2 with Iran, and those two advanced.
FIFA called the outcome "unusual" and launched an investigation.
Indonesia was warned by FIFA before the match to send its strongest team, but an inexperienced team was selected after Indonesia suspended players from clubs in the breakaway Indonesian Super League.
Edi Ellison, the spokesman for the Indonesian association, said they will wait to decide on an appeal after the result of FIFA's probe.
Because of the loss to Bahrain and the breakaway league, the government was planning to cut funding to the association. (AP/msw)
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