Wang pays price for soccer failure
The Chinese Football Association has enacted an ancient proverb - kill a chicken to scare the monkeys - to ensure the Olympic national team fall into line after their disappointing performance in Doha.
First-choice goalkeeper Wang Dalei - who plays for Shanghai Liancheng - is to be axed for acting like a prima donna, it was reported in the mainland's press yesterday.
Nan Yong, the vice-chairman of the CFA, has ordered immediate reform following the side's penalty shoot-out defeat to Iran in the quarter-finals - and he vowed to boot out other overblown egos, who he claims lack discipline and undermine the integrity of the team.
'Some players were overconfident, and some consider themselves as superstars. Discipline would be good for them and the team. We need to make changes,' Nan said.
Wang - who is only 17 - made several mistakes during China's crunch matches against Oman and Iran. And the 2006 Asian Football Confederation Young Player of the Year is the sacrificial lamb for his self-aggrandising.
'Wang won't be selected again because of his poor discipline during pre-training and during the games. He considers himself a big star but he has a bad attitude and this is undermining the team's bid to succeed in 2008,' a CFA spokesman said.
Football pundit Huang Shujie, from the popular Titan sports newspaper, told the South China Morning Post: 'There's nothing wrong with Wang's ability. But he's young and has a bad attitude.'