Bangkok football rivalry bursts into Muay Thai-worthy beatdown (Video)

A Thai footballer is recovering today from an elbow taken to the face when a fight broke out in a game at the Thai League 3 National Championship, his football team said.

Supasan “Hall” Ruangsuphanimit of North Bangkok University FC required two dozen stitches to his upper lip at the Bangpakok-Rangsit 2 Hospital on Sunday after receiving a Muay Thai-style elbowing from Aitsaret Noichaiboon of the rival Bangkok FC. The illegal move that got Aitsaret red carded could be much worse – the club said CT scans yesterday found facial fractures and swelling in Hall’s nasal cavity.

Doctors estimate the player will remain in the hospital for at least two weeks but make a full recovery.

“Hall is 100% in good spirits. He thanks you all for your words of encouragement, and will heal up and play football as soon as possible,” North Bangkok said in a statement posted with pictures of Hall throwing a peace sign from his hospital bed.

During Sunday’s exhibition match, Hall kicked Ittsaret’s foot as they tackled for the ball. As he jogged away backward, Aitsaret charged Hall and sent him sprawling to the pitch with his elbow, eliciting a sharp “Uhuii!” from the announcers.

The referee gave Aitsaret a red card as players huddled to deescalate the altercation, and Bangkok FC terminated him from the team shortly afterward.

North Bangkok won the match 3-0.

Bangkok FC said in a Sunday statement that it does not condone violence on the field.

“Bangkok FC would like to take a stand against actions that do not show any kind of sportsmanship of any kind including the use of violence on the field,” it said. “The club therefore asked to cancel the contract of the player ‘Mr. Aitsaret Noichaiboon.’”

Some observers felt he had picked the wrong sport.

“He should just be a Muay Thai boxer,” Tanyaporn Heebkaew wrote in a comment.

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