Friday 31 July 2009

Life Ban for Chinese Player Who Attacked Referee

The Chinese Football Association yesterday meted out harsh but perhaps deserved punishments to players and coaching personnel of the Tianjin youth National Games football team who harassed and abused a referee last Sunday.

Tianjin's Zhao Shitong (white no 12), who chased referee He Zhibiao and pushed him over, is banned for life from any activity related to football. [Note: if this player is young and inexperienced, then I have reservations whether this is the correct approach.]
Tianjin's goalkeeper Li Gen (yellow no 1) and midfielder Hao Tengjiao (white no 8), who both hounded and chased the referee, each received three-year bans.

Videoclips taken from CCTV of the incident, which have been widely distributed online, clearly show these players hounding, chasing and pushing the referee.

Two other Tianjin players (nos 16, 13) were banned for 30 months, two (nos 4, 11) for 24 months, one (no 14, who received a straight red for stamping on an opponent's chest) for 10 matches, and one player (no 9) for five matches. A coaching staff also received a one-year ban (although I am not sure if this was the head coach Sun Jianjun, who had previously said that he would "bear the primary responsibility for the incident"). Can anyone please confirm this?

Still no details about any apology to the referee!
I don't think an apology to the referee will occur (or if it does happen, it will not be reported by the media).

Related Links
Tianjin Players and Personnel Punishment Decisions (translated English version)
Tianjin Players and Personnel Punishment Decisions (Chinese version)

Reference Chinese player banned for life after ref attack (Reuters)
Jul 31, 2009

A player who led an attack on the referee after a qualifier for the National Games last weekend was banned for life by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) yesterday.

In the latest incident to tarnish the reputation of Chinese soccer, Tianjin's Zhao Shitong chased referee He Zhibiao for over 100 metres and pushed him down to ground before being restrained by police at the end of a match against Beijing on Sunday.

Zhao was banned for life from any activity related to football, the CFA said on its website. Goalkeeper Li Gen and midfielder Hao Tengjiao, who chased the referee off the pitch, were each given three-year bans.

Two other players were banned for 30 months, two for two years, one for 10 matches and one for five matches. An official from Tianjin Teda, the local Chinese Super League club, was also banned for a year.

The bans were announced just hours after the vice-president of China's leading club Beijing Guoan predicted the Chinese Super League would rival England's Premier League within 15 years. Zhang Lu said soaring interest in the domestic game could soon attract big name players and transform the current league set-up into a world beater.

"I believe the Chinese Super League can become one the most popular leagues in the world," said Zhang, a former goalkeeper and coach of the capital's top club.

His comments echoed those of English Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, who said earlier this week that the Chinese Super League has huge potential.

Zhang said that after two difficult years where the league was plagued by poor refereeing, corruption and temperamental players, the last 12 months had brought a new optimism with attendances up at leading clubs.

"Fifty thousand recently watched Beijing Guoan in the derby against Tianjin Teda a record for China's domestic football," he said. "We have at least 10 or 15 years to wait before we catch up to the Premier League."

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