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April 12, 2011

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Crisis in national youth team as coach suspended

THE Chinese Basketball Association last night confirmed receiving a signed letter from the national men's under-19 players, complaining about the abusive style of their chief coach.

Li Jinsheng, the vice chairman of the CBA, slammed both the coach, Fan Bin, and the players for the way they protested but said no one would be punished over the affair.

Fan, however, has been suspended.

In the letter, the national youth players had asked for a change of coach, saying they could no longer tolerate the insulting behavior of Fan Bin.

"We, the entire National Youth Men's Basketball Team players, can no longer endure the chief coach Fan Bin for his insulting and abusive behavior in the past three years. We wish to express our apprehensions to the Association and request for a change of coach," the letter said.

The Guangzhou Daily claimed that the letter was drafted by a restaurant waiter where the players had gone for a meal, and 13 players including the top names, signed it and put their thumb prints in red stamp to look like a blood letter.

Things apparently started to go wrong from the first day of training itself in Beijing on March 30 when Fan let go at the players, who were scheduled to fly out to the United States for training. One of the players, Guo Ailun, complained to the CBA but Fan did not mend his ways despite being warned.

The players then decided to take a joint action and stayed away from training and wrote a letter during lunch break.

With Fan suspended, assistant coach Hu Weidong is likely to take charge of the team for training as it leaves for the US.


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