CFA probes Hulk clash, Lavezzi off the hook

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, May 18, 2017
Adjust font size:

Chinese FA open investigation into Hulk's alleged attack on rival coach.

The Chinese Football Association said yesterday it is investigating Brazilian star Hulk's alleged altercation with a rival club's staffer, but it saw "no malicious intent" in a separate racially-charged row involving Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Both South American players, who are among the growing crop of highly paid foreign stars in the cash-rich Chinese Super League, have been embroiled in race-related incidents in recent weeks.

The CFA said its disciplinary committee held a hearing last Friday with Hulk, who plays for Shanghai SIPG, and the assistant coach of Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng.

The hearing came after Guizhou's then head coach Li Bing accused the muscular Brazilian of punching his assistant, Yu Ming, at half-time during SIPG's 3-0 victory earlier this month.

Li had suggested Hulk had a racial motive for the alleged attack, saying that the Brazilian star "cannot be here and despise Chinese people", though he later appeared to back off those comments.

Hulk and the Shanghai club have rejected the accusations.

CFA spokeswoman Huang Shiwei said in a statement that the association "has zero tolerance towards any behavior that is not (in line with) sport ethics in the pitch, no matter who that person is. There is no exception."

News of the investigation comes a week after a CFA official, Li Peng, said there was "no evidence" that Hulk had violated any regulations.

But Li Bing, who remains Guizhou's general manager, said on his official Weibo microblog account that he would keep pursuing the charges even though his club said both sides "had reached agreement" in how to handle the incident.

Days after the Hulk incident, the CSL faced another controversy when promotional photos emerged of Lavezzi smiling and pulling the corners of his eyes back.

Lavezzi's club, Hebei China Fortune, issued a statement on Sunday saying that the 32-year-old had apologized and insisted he meant no racial offense.

"We believe the footballer and the photographer did not have any malicious intent when they were shooting. (We) hope media don't read too much into this," the CFA said yesterday. "Due to the differences of national conditions and cultures, different hand gestures or expressions have different meanings."

But the CFA urged Lavezzi "to regulate his words and actions more" as a public figure.

Lavezzi's slant-eyed pose has caused outrage on Chinese social media.

Hebei said some photos in the Lavezzi promotional shoot were meant to be in a "light-hearted" and "wacky" vein.

But the team nonetheless conceded it had not been vigilant enough in the matter and would "draw lessons" from it, vowing to prevent anything similar occurring again.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from