Stadium closed after refs beating

- Agence France-Presse, SHANGHAI

Jul 6, 2017-

A Chinese second-division club were ordered on Wednesday to play a home match behind closed doors after four match officials were attacked following a controversial draw.

Police are probing who beat up the referee and his assistants after the power was mysteriously cut on Saturday in their changing room at Baoding Rongda’s Stadium, in a fresh low for Chinese football, which has invested huge sums in improving the sport and signing foreign players. Baoding Rongda, a club near Beijing, are at the bottom of second tier and were infuriated when referee Huang Xiang added seven minutes of injury time at the end of a game that they were leading 2-1 against Wuhan Zall.

Home players and fans were further riled when Huang awarded Wuhan a penalty in stoppage time and the visitors converted the spot-kick to snatch a draw. The Chinese Football Association (CFA), which issued a series of lengthy bans in recent weeks to star names including Shanghai SIPG’s Oscar in the top-tier Super League, said Baoding players and staff angrily confronted Huang afterwards on the pitch.

The referee and his assistants had to be escorted off by security personnel as fans pelted them with debris, state-run newspaper The Beijing News said. “At around 10:30pm that night, the power in the referees’ dressing room was suddenly cut off,” the CFA said. “A dozen people rushed inside the referees’ room at around 11:10 pm and beat up the four officials. That resulted in injuries to the head, waist, leg and other parts.”

Police are helping the CFA identify who the attackers were, why the power was cut and why there was not enough security to protect the officials. 

Published: 06-07-2017 08:52

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