Chinese Super League

Outdone by boy band TFBoys – CSL side Jiangsu Suning under fire for postponing match

CFA vows a review into the use of reserve venues after the Nanjing team had to reschedule a game because it clashed with the group’s performance

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 December, 2017, 7:34pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 December, 2017, 8:19pm

The Chinese Football Association on Friday criticised elite division club Jiangsu Suning for postponing a league match because it clashed with a nearby performance by popular mainland boy band TFBoys.

At a post-season meeting of professional clubs in Wuhan, CFA director of professional clubs Ma Chengquan said the body will look into using other venues if clubs are unable to fulfil their commitments.

Jiangsu, managed by former England boss Fabio Capello, were to face Tianjin Quanjian on August 13 in the 22nd round of the Chinese Super League at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre stadium.

However, the TFBoys were staging a concert at the nearby Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium and local police said it was too big of a security risk to hold two major events in proximity of each other.

TFBoys, short for The Fighting Boys, was formed in 2013 and is one of the most popular boy bands in China with a social media following of more than 30 million.

Jiangsu’s match against Tianjin was eventually held on September 28. The CSL schedule had been worked out months in advance while it was reported that TFBoys had only decided four weeks in advance to hold two concerts in Nanjing.

Suning was forced to ask permission from the CFA to postpone the match and the governing body had no choice but to comply because of the security risks outlined by local officials.

At the time, fans went on social media to complain about the club’s scheduling incompetence. Among the unhappy throng was former China international Hao Haidong, who wrote: “I feel sad for Chinese football and everyone involved! If there’s no respect [for them], what’s the point of amassing so much power, money and fame?”

Jiangsu won the postponed game 1-0 and finished 12th in the 16-team table. Tianjin finished third, 10 points behind champions Guangzhou Evergrande.