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November 30, 2009

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Paper seeks soccer boss apology for 'violence'

A LOCAL sports newspaper demanded that a soccer tycoon in the city make a public apology for his "reckless violence" in storming the newspaper's office over alleged "twisted reporting" on his business.

The Oriental Sports Daily put the statement on its front page over the weekend, asking Zhu Jun, head of the Shanghai Shenhua Football Team, to apologize.

According to the newspaper, Zhu broke into its office late Friday afternoon when the staff were having a meeting.

A clash occurred when a photographer tried to take pictures of the scene. Zhu demanded the photographer delete all the pictures.

"He yelled at and shoved around editors and even threatened them, which severely disrupted normal operation of the newspaper," the statement said.

The newspaper said it retains any rights to sue Zhu for his behavior.

The soccer boss got angry after reading a report in the newspaper that morning. The story said he had been reluctant to continue the club's investment in its teenager soccer school since becoming the club's boss in 2007.

The report also said a company that manages Kangqiao Base, which Zhu's Shenhua club rented for training, has repeatedly urged Zhu to pay overdue utility fees. It said Zhu has delayed paying any fees for water or electricity for the past three years.

The report was "totally nonsense" and "misleading" and had "tainted his and the club's image," Zhu told other media after the clash.

Zhu later said he felt sorry for his behavior but refused to apologize. He told Xinmin Evening News he was just "emotional" and very sensitive to any negative reports because they would bring bad repercussions to his company.


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