AFC takes aim at Shanghai SIPG’s Andre Villas-Boas over Guangzhou Evergrande outburst
The SIPG manager is being censured over comments criticising the Asian body and the referee after an AFC Champions League match
The Asian Football Confederation said on Thursday it was launching disciplinary action against Shanghai SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas for his outburst after the epic Champions League quarter-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande this week.
The Portuguese, a former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager, strongly criticised the AFC and the referee, and levelled allegations at Chinese rivals Guangzhou of dirty tricks.
Among his claims, Villas-Boas accused Guangzhou of engineering a series of minor road accidents to delay the SIPG team bus as it travelled to the second-leg away clash on Tuesday.
Evergrande won 5-1 on the night in Guangzhou after extra time, 5-5 on aggregate, only for SIPG to squeeze into the last four for the first time in their history on penalties.
“We can confirm that as a result of comments by Shanghai SIPG FC head coach at the post-match press conference... the AFC has opened disciplinary proceedings based on Article 50.1 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code (bringing the game into disrepute),” the AFC said in a statement.
“The case will be dealt with by the AFC Disciplinary & Ethics Committee on a date to be confirmed.”
His side may have made history for the Shanghai club, but Villas-Boas seethed after emerging from the topsy-turvy tie 5-4 on penalties.
“This is the greatest achievement for SIPG ever because it looks like one club is dominating the AFC because this club can do everything. They can block hotels, cause people to have accidents in front of us,” he said.
Video footage posted online, apparently shot from the SIPG team coach on the way to the game, appeared to show a succession of five holds-ups on the road involving the same cars.
Evergrande declined to respond when contacted.
Villas-Boas also hit out at the AFC for failing to punish an opposing player from the first leg, and criticised Iranian referee Alireza Faghani, who sent off two SIPG players in extra time on Tuesday.
Faghani also booked SIPG goalkeeper Yan Junling during the penalty shoot-out for unsporting conduct, which will rule him out of the first leg of the semi-final.
“It’s a disgrace, it’s a disgrace,” Villas-Boas exclaimed.
SIPG face Japanese side Urawa Reds in the semi-finals.