Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk avoids punishment over alleged racially motivated coach punch
Chinese Football Association confirm no action will be taken against Brazilian striker following the incident at the weekend against Guizhou Zhicheng
Brazilian Hulk is expected to avoid punishment following allegations the Shanghai SIPG striker punched an opposition coach in a racially motivated attack at the weekend.
The development has angered many Chinese fans, with some critics suggesting foreign players were being disciplined more leniently than locals.
Hulk was accused of knocking Guizhou Zhicheng assistant coach Yu Ming to the ground in the tunnel at half-time in Saturday’s Chinese Super League fixture at Shanghai Stadium, with Guizhou coach Li Bing initially suggesting Hulk did so because he “despises Chinese people”.
But both clubs are now believed to have reached an agreement over the incident which was denied by SIPG, while Li claimed: “I can’t accept that Hulk insulted us first and punched our coach first”.
The development has been greeted with displeasure from fans in China, with the decision following the news that, following pressure from Chinese officials, Shanghai Shenhua midfielder Qin Sheng abruptly withdrew his appeal on the eve of a court appearance against an earlier imposed six-month suspension for stamping on a foreign player.
“From what we know, there is no proof that can support that Hulk really did something wrong,” said a Chinese Football Association spokesman.
Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk accused of punching Guizhou Zhicheng coach because he ‘despises Chinese people’
“It’s normal that both sides were yearning for the win and we can understand some emotions in the first half extended to the break, but it wasn’t as severe as everybody imagined.
“We’ve exchanged the evidence, SIPG has already given Guizhou the evidence they’d got and they will take further action according to the reactions from Guizhou. As far as we know, the two clubs have already reached an agreement.”
Watch: Qin Sheng’s stamp on Axel Witsel
Qin played in last week’s FA Cup success over Yunnan Lijiang as his ban for stamping on Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel last month only covers matches in the Super League.
But he is now expected to remain sidelined until his suspension ends in September with officials believed to be unhappy he was allowed to play against the lower-league side.
The reversal follows an article from the General Administration of Sport, entitled “Bad behaviour in games must be corrected” which said: “We hope Qin Sheng acknowledges the severe harm that bad behaviour in games leads to and his social responsibility as a public figure. We hope he will have self-restraint and turn over a new leaf.”
Media in Shanghai have been asked not to question the content of the article, which was published on the website of the General Administration of Sport, or face punishment.
The same request has been made to the Chinese media regarding the decision not to pursue action against Hulk.
The weekend’s 3-0 defeat by SIPG was Li’s last match in charge of Guizhou as he was replaced by former Shenhua and Beijing Guoan coach Gregorio Manzano, who had already been named as his successor last week.