Chinese Football Association (CFA)

Chinese goalkeeper faces lengthy ban for wearing Huf marijuana socks during international friendly win over Syria

Authorities sure to come down on Guangzhou Evergrande netminder for unusual kit based on previous punishments

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 11:32am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 October, 2018, 11:39am

Chinese international goalkeeper Zeng Cheng has risked the wrath of the Chinese Football Association after wearing some illicit kit during the team’s win over Syria in Nanjing on Tuesday night.

The goalie was spotted sporting a pair of skateboard brand Huf’s “Plantlife” socks, a clothing item notable for their distinctive marijuana plant patterns, something that did not go unnoticed on social media.

It is likely that the authorities will come down on the 31-year-old keeper based on their previous punishments for similar indiscretions.

Defender Wang Shenchao was banned for 12 months from international duty after wearing a necklace during a game while youth player Zhou Junchen was handed a 12-month ban for skipping dinner at a Thai training camp.

China footballer Wang Shenchao banned for 12 months for sneaking a necklace on to the pitch against Myanmar

Zeng’s club Guangzhou Evergrande were similarly draconian when censuring their staff after defender Zhang Linpeng’s shirt number came off in an AFC Champions League game and they improvised with tape.

Five backroom staff were fined for “damaging the club’s brand”.

Many players have started to wear their own socks but usually these are for improved grip rather than a fashion statement.

With five games left of the Chinese Super League season and internationals next month ahead of the Asian Cup in January, Zeng risks missing out if he is banned as expected.

Fifa may also impose their own punishment based on the laws of the game.

The referee should have spotted the offending socks and asked Zeng to remove them as they are “unauthorised clothing” as per Law 4.

England and Sweden were fined by Fifa for their players wearing non-slip socks at the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer.

Guangzhou Evergrande staff pay the price after leaving club red-faced with yellow tape shirt gaffe