China's sports authorities yesterday admitted the troubled domestic league was at the root of an embarrassing walk-off by the national youth team in Iran. The under-18 squad forfeited a group match against Syria in the third quarter, while leading 46-41, at the Asian Youth Championships in protest at a string of dubious calls by referees. The Asian Basketball Association (ABA) later awarded the game to Syria. Although China's head coach, Li Chunjiang, later claimed he didn't intend to pull his players off the court and called it a 'misunderstanding', Beijing officials took a different view. 'Our coaches might have some misunderstandings about international rules, but it also reflects problems of management and regulation at all levels of our basketball competition at home,' the Chinese Basketball Association said. 'The head coach was irrational and behaved improperly when he protested the referees' decisions, which violated Fiba rules,' the CBA said. 'This is a lesson to all Chinese coaches and the CBA insists they learn more about Fiba rules and are aware of their behaviour.' The governing body also accepted a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs (HK$211,000). 'We will try to find more ways to educate our players and fans,' said Hao Guohua, director of the CBA's managing office. 'We have worked for more than 10 years to make the CBA a better league and we have our world-famous stars like Yi Jianlian and Yao Ming, so we cannot let its image be destroyed. I am sure you will see a solution in the near future.' The CBA league has been a source of trouble in the past few seasons, marked by spectator violence and on-court incidents which have rivalled the notorious mainland soccer league. Li was head coach of domestic champions Guangdong Winnerways before taking over the national youth squad this spring. He had a poor track record in on-court discipline, once engaging in a ferocious verbal dispute with fans in a 2006 league game.