CFA doles out pun­ish­ment for Rongda chaos

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

SHANG­HAI — The Chi­nese Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion on Wed­nes­day fined embattled Chi­nese League One club Baod­ing Rongda 100,000 yuan ($14,720) and or­dered it to play one match be­hind closed doors, while its former chair­man Meng Yongli was fined 100,000 yuan and banned from in­volve­ment in soc­cer for two years.

Rongda and its fans were in­fu­ri­ated when ref­eree


Huang Xiang added seven min­utes of in­jury time at the end of a match it was lead­ing 2-1 against Wuhan Zall last Satur­day.

Home play­ers and fans were fur­ther riled when Huang awarded Wuhan a de­bat­able penalty in stop­page time, and chaos en­sued when the vis­i­tor con­verted the spot­kick to snatch a draw.

In the af­ter­math of the match, Meng burst into tears at a me­dia con­fer­ence, al­leg­ing his side had been cheated out of the win, and later said he was pulling the team out of the na­tion’s sec­ond-tier league.

Meng later re­signed and the club apol­o­gized, say­ing it would re­turn to the league.

In an­nounc­ing the pun­ish­ments, the CFA said Meng’s com­ments were ir­re­spon­si­ble and fu­eled public mis­trust.

Mean­while, po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­leged beat­ing of four match of­fi­cials, who sus­tained head and body in­juries when they were at­tacked af­ter the match.

The ref­eree and his as­sis­tants were in­jured in their dress­ing room af­ter the power was mys­te­ri­ously cut at Baod­ing Rongda’s sta­dium.

The CFA, which has is­sued a se­ries of lengthy bans in re­cent weeks to star names in­clud­ing Shang­hai SIPG’s Os­car in the Chi­nese Su­per League, said Baod­ing play­ers and staff an­grily con­fronted Huang on the pitch.

The ref­eree and his as­sis­tants had to be es­corted off the field by se­cu­rity per­son­nel as fans pelted them with de­bris.

“At around 10:30 pm, the power in the ref­er­ees’ dress­ing room was sud­denly cut,” the CFA said in a state­ment.

“A dozen peo­ple rushed in­side the ref­er­ees’ room at around 11:10 pm and beat up the four of­fi­cials, re­sult­ing in in­juries to their heads, waists, legs and other parts.”

Po­lice are help­ing the CFA iden­tify the at­tack­ers and in as­cer­tain­ing how and why the power was cut and why there was not enough se­cu­rity to pro­tect the of­fi­cials.

The CFA is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the per­for­mance of the of­fi­cials.

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