China / Sports

CFA doles out punishment for Rongda chaos

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-07-06 07:33

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 spot-kick 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.

China Daily / AFP

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