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Chinese Super League 2017

Luiz Felipe Scolari denies Guangzhou Evergrande exit rumours after fake report of sick relative

Brazilian World Cup-winning coach has guided the Chinese Super League side to the AFC Champions League title and two domestic crowns since taking over in June 2015

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 6:30pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 9:25pm

World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has strongly denied the Brazilian will quit Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande at the end of the season and return to his homeland, with reports of a sick relative untrue.

Scolari made a speedy exit from a post-match press conference following Guangzhou’s draw with Japan’s Kawasaki Frontale in the AFC Champions League earlier this month, saying: “I’m very sorry, but I have to go back to deal with my family member’s health condition.”

But with the reports proving to be false, Scolari insisted the 68-year-old is committed to remaining in southern China until the end of his current deal which he signed last year.

“First of all, I am still working with this team and you can see it in today’s training,” said Scolari, who has guided Guangzhou to the AFC Champions League title and two Super League crowns since taking over in June 2015.

“The police back in Brazil have already interfered in this case, they investigated the whole thing and found the news was totally made up.

“I don’t know why they did this, are they trying to affect the club or me? I want to repeat that my contract will expire at the end of this year, plus there is a one year option.

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“I like this job, I like my players. None of my family member have a health condition that needs me to put my work aside.

“I went back to Brazil for normal reasons. I haven’t seen my wife for four or five months and I went back to bring my wife and other family members here.”

Scolari was speaking a day after he was handed a one-match ban and fined ¥8,000 by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) for comments made after the defending champions lost 2-1 to Shandong Luneng earlier this month.

The Brazilian was critical of the extra suspension handed out to captain Zheng Zhi after the Guangzhou midfielder was sent-off during the win over Beijing Guoan.

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“The punishment came out and I am suspended because I made some comments after last game,” added Scolari.

“Why don’t they give me a reward when I praise Chinese football? I just said something nice about Chinese football, will I get a reward? Am I deprived of the right to speak? Am I deprived of the right to think? I want to have a look at the notice from the CFA.”

The ban will see Zheng, who is currently on duty with China as they prepare for next week’s Fifa World Cup qualifier in Iran, also miss Guangzhou’s upcoming Super League showdown with current pacesetters Shanghai SIPG having already sat out the defeat by Shandong.

“We are preparing for it, but due to the national game, we’ve only got more than a half players here, but they are all in good form,” said Scolari.