Chinese Super League

Shanghai Shenhua midfielder Qin Sheng lodges appeal against six-month ban for Axel Witsel stamp

Gus Poyet’s side also make complaint against the result of Sunday’s 2-1 defeat by Beijing Guoan in the Chinese Super League

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 3:20pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 April, 2017, 9:28pm

Shanghai Shenhua midfielder Qin Sheng has lodged an appeal against his six-month ban for stamping on Belgium’s Axel Witsel, while the Chinese Super League club have also made the somewhat surprising move to challenge the result of the weekend’s defeat by Beijing Guoan.

Qin was hit with the hefty spell on the sidelines as well as fined ¥120,000 (HK$135,000) by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) last month after the midfielder was sent off in the first half of Shenhua’s 1-1 draw with Tianjin Quanjian.

“If Qin Sheng’s foul is violent, then the management of CFA and the execution of [referee] Ma Ning are both violent!” said a statement from Shenhua, who also fined Qin ¥300,000 and also threatened to force the 30-year-old to see out the remainder of his contract in the reserves as the action drew widespread criticism.

Qin claims his treatment is too severe and not based on the rules of the CFA, which state that a player who acts violently against an opponent during a match will be banned for at least three matches and fined ¥15,000, while fouls leading to injuries will incur a five-match ban and ¥25,000 financial penalty.

Watch: Qin Sheng’s stamp on Axel Witsel

Shenhua’s comment regarding referee Ma Ning refer to Sunday’s 2-1 away defeat by Beijing, which condemned Gus Poyet’s side to a first defeat of the new season, with the club pointing to three key incidents in the match at the Workers’ Stadium.

Firstly, Shenhua are unhappy with Ma’s decision not to punish Beijing’s Zhang Chiming for a tackle on Bai Jiajun in the 73rd minute which eventually forced the defender to be substituted soon after.

Shanghai Shenhua midfielder Qin Sheng handed six-month ban for Axel Witsel stamp

“[Bai] needs to do an x-ray when we go back,” said Uruguayan coach Poyet after the match.

“That is a very dangerous foul. If he had one supporting leg on the ground, his whole season would have been finished. Fortunately, his legs were in the air, so he didn’t suffer a lot.”

Watch: Beijing Guoan 2 Shanghai Shenhua 1 highlights

Shenhua claim forward Lu Zheng asked referee Na after the incident “in the derby against [Shanghai] SIPG in 2015, I made a same tackle on Davi of SIPG, why did you send me off?”

The club claim Ma responded by saying: “If you don’t shut up now, I will give you another red card!”

Stamp on Tianjin Quanjian’s Axel Witsel by Shanghai Shenhua’s Qin Sheng casts shadow over Chinese Super League

Secondly, Shenhua claim defender Li Peng was fouled by Yu Dabao in the build up to Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz netting the winner with three minutes remaining.

“It was a foul so our players stopped, but this is a football game,” said Poyet of the incident after the game.

And finally, Shenhua claim they should have been awarded a stoppage time penalty as substitute Lu was fouled by Beijing goalkeeper Yang Zhi inside the area.

“We discussed it in the dressing room, some said it was a penalty, some said not,” said Poyet of the incident after the game.

The defeat left Shenhua seventh in the Super League table, five points behind leaders Shandong Luneng and Guangzhou R&F, with Beijing eighth on the same points.