The men’s football tournament at the 2023 Southeast Asian Games was held in Cambodia. Ten Southeast Asian nations entered the men’s tournament. The tournament was limited to players exclusively under-22 years of age (born on or after 1 January 2001).
Vietnam were the two-time defending champions, but were eliminated in the semi-finals by Indonesia. The Indonesian went on to win their first title after 32 years, and their third title in history by defeating Thailand 5–2 in the final.
Chaos ensued in the match between the Indonesia and Thailand in the final match.
The first incident occurred when Al Hatmi blew the whistle during the injury time of the second half. At that time Indonesia had a 2–1 lead and were ready to celebrate their victory and championship title. When the whistle sounded, the Indonesian side coach, Indra Sjafri, started celebrating with the staff because they mistook the long blow for a full-time signal. However, Al Hatmi had actually intended to signal a free kick for Thailand. After the premature celebrations settled down, the free kick that followed led to Thailand striker Yotsakorn Burapha scoring an equalizer goal, thereby making the score 2–2. Indonesian coaches and players began criticizing the referee’s decision, and Indonesian media claims that Al Hatmi gave an unfair advantage to the opponent with the seven-minute additional time.
After the extra time match started, Indonesian player Irfan Jauhari scored a goal in the 91st minute, making the score 3–2 and giving back Indonesia the lead. The goal was again followed by unrest in the benches. In the videos that were shown, Indonesia’s team manager Sumardji, was beaten and punched by several Thai coaching staff and players which resulted in Sumardji’s face bleeding from the nose and mouth. As a result of the incident, the referee issued several red cards to the Thailand players and coaching staff. Indonesia went on to score two more goals and lose none during the remaining duration of extra time, and conquer the championship title after 32 years of drought.