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May 13, 2016

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Wuhan club sacks 5 players over brawl

AN amateur football club in Wuhan fired five of its players for acts of violence against their opponents after a China Football Association Cup match against Chinese Super League big-spender Jiangsu Suning.

The brawl occurred after striker Ge Wei scored in the 9th minute of extra time as Jiangsu edged China Amateur Football League side Wuhan Hongxing Bairun FC 1-0 in their CFA Cup third-round match on Wednesday. Videos taken by witnesses from the stands showed some Wuhan players beating up Jiangsu players on the pitch after the final whistle. They also showed a Jiangsu club official, who had been taking match video from the stands, being roughed up by some 10 men who were allegedly Wuhan supporters.

The Jiangsu club, managed by former Chelsea winger Dan Petrescu, filed a police complaint after the attack, and its players were escorted to the railway station in the central Hubei Province city immediately. At least seven Jiangsu players suffered injuries to their face, back and legs.

Hongxing issued an apology to Jiangsu, the CFA and the fans later in the day, and promised to punish players involved in the fracas. The club announced yesterday that five players had been dismissed for their role in the embarrassing brawl.

“We are an amateur team while Suning is a professional team,” Hongxing general manager Huang Chenggao explained yesterday. “After Suning scored a last-minute goal, their bench players celebrated in a way that seemed to mock our players, which caused the fight.”

A Jiangsu player who refused to give his name told media that they had been warned by their coaches before the match not to “get into trouble” with their rivals, since Wuhan is an amateur team and “won’t be afraid of punishments from the CFA”.

Officials from both teams will attend a CFA hearing in Beijing today and further sanctions are likely.

Wuhan police, meanwhile, said yesterday they would soon confirm the identity of the attackers in the stands.

Jiangsu led a world-leading transfer spending spree earlier this year but because of CFA Cup rules, megabucks signings Alex Teixeira, Ramires and Jo were not playing on Wednesday.


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