YANGON - A riot broke out at Thuwunna Stadium on Monday night after Myanmar lost 1-0 to Indonesia in the men's football last group match and got knocked out of the tournament.
The football match was the most anticipated event during the 27th SEA Games and Myanmar fans had high expectations that their side would reach the semi-final.
The team had already won against Cambodia and East Timor in earlier matches and tied 1-1 with Thailand. They needed a win or a draw to proceed to the semi-finals.
Myanmar team's coach, Park Sung Hwa from South Korea, has received the bulk of the blame for his choices of players for the lineup and substitution, which was missing many of Myanmar's star players.
"I felt very disappointed to see the player lineup at the start of the match. Why didn't he use Kyaw Ko Ko at the start of the match? I want to say that we lost because of the coach's wrongful decisions in choosing the players for the lineup and substitution," said veteran sports columnist Chit Win Maung.
Myanmar's team had a total of seven points and needed either a draw or a win to proceed in the tournament. However, after the match Park Sung Hwa told a press conference that he was unaware of the head-to-head rule and he had expected Myanmar to proceed even after loosing.
He apologised and said he took full responsibility for the disappointing result. Moe Wai, media officer of the Myanmar U-23 team, confirmed that Park Sung Hwa had subsequently been sacked.
"His single decision destroyed the hopes of the 60 million fans in Myanmar," added Chit Win Maung.