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Baggott Controversially Banned From Final
Saturday, 1st Jan 2022 15:48

Blues centre-half Elkan Baggott was one of four Indonesian players controversially banned from this afternoon’s AFF Suzuki Cup final second leg by the Singapore government for allegedly transgressing the tournament’s bubble rules, a claim the young defender strongly denies.

Today's game ended in a 2-2 draw which meant Thailand, ahead 4-0 from the first leg, carried off the trophy 6-2 on aggregate.

Prior to kick-off, Indonesia's FA, PSSI, were forced to withdraw Baggott and Rizky Ridho from their starting line-up and Rizky Dwi and Victor Igbonefo from the squad following an email from the government which was sent yesterday.

A statement on the PSSI Facebook page ahead of kick-off read: “PSSI is very disappointed with the Singapore government's treatment of the Indonesian national team.

“This is after four players, namely Elkan Baggott, Victor Igbonefo, Rizky Dwi, and Rizky Ridho ,were banned from appearing in the final second leg at the National Stadium, Singapore.

“The Singaporean government through the head of the Singapore Sport Institute, Su Chun Wei, sent an email to PSSI on Friday because the four players violated the bubble rules.”

Writing on Instagram, Baggott said he and his team-mates had no intention of breaking any rules.

PSSI secretary general Yunus Nusi added: “We can't stop thinking about the Singapore government regarding this incident. We have received a fine from the AFF because the four players violated the bubble rules on December 23rd. We have already paid the fine. How come now suddenly they are punishing players by not being allowed to play tonight?

“This rule is very strange because during the first match Elkan Baggott could play. The other three players were also no problem.”

The secretary general also cited a number of other frustrations the Indonesia have faced during the competition, including Baggott having been instructed to quarantine after a passenger on his flight from London tested positive for the Omnicron variant of Covid having already been in Singapore for a number of days, forcing him to miss a game, the food supplied to the players and the bubble system which saw the squad staying on a floor of their hotel which was open to the public.

Nusi added that he was also unhappy with the email send on New Year’s Eve without a letterhead and says the PSSI “will certainly not be silent about this. The Indonesian national team has suffered a lot during the 2020 AFF Cup in Singapore”.

PSSI general chair Mochamad Iriawan ordered that a letter appealing the bans was written to the Singapore government, but no response had been received prior to the game, and also made contact with the secretary general of the AFF on the matter.

Prior to the disappointment of missing the second leg, Baggott will have enjoyed his first experience of major tournament football.

The 19-year-old made five sub appearances in the competition, taking his overall caps total to six, and scored his first international goal in the 4-1 victory over Malaysia in the group games.

Baggott’s displays reportedly caught the eye of Japanese side FC Tokyo among other Asian clubs, however, a move of that nature would appear highly unlikely at this stage of his career.

The centre-half, who was was born in Thailand to an English father and Indonesian mother, signed his first professional contract with Town in January 2021, a deal which runs to 2023 with the club having an option to keep him for a further season.

Baggott, who ended last season on loan at King’s Lynn, made his senior Blues debut in the Papa John’s Trophy tie against Gillingham in 2020/21 and later in that campaign was an unused sub for the League One games against Sunderland and Crewe.

The Colchester-raised defender will now return to Suffolk where he will hope to make an impression on new boss Kieran McKenna.

Photo: Matchday Images

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Ipswichbusiness added 16:46 - Jan 1
Oh dear, it seems that there was confusion or a misunderstanding about the rules.

It is a shame as it would have been good experience for him.

churchmans81 added 17:58 - Jan 1
Now to come back home, get his head down and gain further experience so that he can fight for a place in the snr. team. ⚽️ 🚜 💙.

Nobbysnuts added 18:46 - Jan 1
Oh well.....Next uninteresting news story.....

allezlesbleus added 19:56 - Jan 1

Upvoted you by mistake.

What sort of moronic comment is that? I'm interested in our players and their development.

bluelodgeblue added 21:07 - Jan 1
Allez there’s a clue in his tag name???

ipswich134 added 23:16 - Jan 1
Failing to follow the laws , you should lucky to even have played and not sent home.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 12:53 - Jan 2
The bolded first line is incorrect - Baggott doesn't "strongly deny" breaking the rules at all. He simply says they were unaware of the rule. There's a big difference.

bobble added 07:07 - Jan 3
not much fresh air in singapore....

Barty added 10:51 - Jan 4
Been to Singapore - never again - you are allowed to anything except enjoy yourself - horrible place. Good luck Elkan in hopefully a good future with us.

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