Villas-Boas in trouble over outburst
SHANGHAI — The Asian Football Confederation said on Thursday it was launching disciplinary action against Shanghai SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas for his outburst following his team’s epic AFC Champions League quarterfinal win over Guangzhou Evergrande this week.
The former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager strongly criticized the AFC and the referee, and accused Chinese rivals Guangzhou of dirty tricks.
The Portuguese alleged Guangzhou had engineered a series of minor road accidents to delay the SIPG team bus as it traveled to the second-leg away clash on Tuesday.
Reigning Chinese Super League champion Evergrande won 5-1 on the night in Guangzhou after extra time, to make it 5-5 on aggregate, only for SIPG to squeeze into the last four for the first time in its history on penalties.
“We can confirm that as a result of comments by Shanghai SIPG FC head coach at the post-match press conference... the AFC has opened disciplinary proceedings based on Article 50.1 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code (bringing the game into disrepute),” the AFC said in a statement.
“The case will be dealt with by the AFC Disciplinary & Ethics Committee on a date to be confirmed.”
His side may have made history, but Villas-Boas seethed after emerging from the topsy-turvy tie 5-4 on penalties.
“This is the greatest achievement for SIPG ever because it looks like one club is dominating the AFC because this club can do everything. They can block hotels, cause people to have accidents in front of us,” he said.
Video footage posted online, apparently shot from the SIPG team coach on the way to the game, appeared to show a succession of five hold-ups on the road involving the same cars.
Evergrande declined to respond when contacted by AFP.
Villas-Boas also hit out at the AFC for failing to punish an opposing player from the first leg, and criticized Iranian referee Alireza Faghani, who sent off two SIPG players in extra time on Tuesday.
Faghani also booked SIPG goalkeeper Yan Junling during the penalty shootout for unsporting conduct, which will rule him out of the first leg of the semifinal.
“It’s a disgrace, it’s a disgrace,” Villas-Boas exclaimed.
SIPG faces Japanese side Urawa Reds in the semifinals.