‘Courageous and passionate’ Oscar slams dirty player accusations as ‘nonsense’ after brawl
Brazilian involved in incident which leads to mass confrontation involving players and coaches from Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou R&F
Shanghai SIPG midfielder Oscar labelled suggestions he is a dirty player as “nonsense” with coach Andre Villas-Boas claiming the former Chelsea man was just showing “courage and passion” in the incident which led to a mass brawl in Sunday’s Chinese Super League draw with Guangzhou R&F.
Oscar twice in quick succession kicked the ball at two R&F players in stoppage time at the end of the first half at Yuexiushan Stadium as SIPG attempted to break upfield before being knocked to the ground as players and coaches from both sides converged.
R&F’s Li Tixiang and SIPG’s Fu Huan were eventually sent off when order was restored for their roles in the incident, which came shortly after Brazilian striker Hulk had equalised for the visitors with a disputed goal following a pass from Oscar.
“I don’t respect the opponents? That’s nonsense. I am a very professional player and I respect fair play very much,” said Oscar, who joined SIPG at the start of the season for a reported €60 million (HK496m).
“Everyone that plays football should know that was a very normal action, but unfortunately their player was in front of the ball.”
Watch: Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou R&F players in mass brawl
Oscar received no punishment for his part in the incident, which took around five minutes to resolve.
“Oscar doesn’t play ugly football. I suppose he wanted to show his courage and passion, after all the game was very intense,” said SIPG coach Villas-Boas.
Brazilian star Oscar at the centre of incredible melee during testy Shanghai SIPG-Guangzhou R&F match
“He wanted to play in a more passionate way, but of course such a clash could have been avoided.”
R&F’s Chen Zhizhao appeared to make the initial contact pushing Oscar to the ground for which he was cautioned, with Li following up and appearing to stand on the Brazilian as he lay prone on the floor.
“The video clip of that clash is everywhere on the internet, it shows everything,” said R&F defender Li.
“I respect the decision of the referee and my teammates as well. As for the reason of the clash, you can see it on the video. Whether I should take the blame, I believe the club will defend me.
“[Oscar’s] behaviour was part of the game. He is a very good player, but he didn’t play very well so he became annoyed and did whatever. That was normal and I think our reaction was also normal.”
Villas-Boas conceded Oscar has been offside when he broke clear following a pass from Hulk near the halfway line before returning the ball to his compatriot to fire home.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal. [Oscar] was encircled by several R&F players at that time and I think he was just trying to make a clearance kick,” said SIPG captain Wang Shenchao.
“It’s just two of his kicks hit their players by accident. He used to play in Premier League and the confrontation there is much more intense, but the fact Oscar’s kicks hit their players shouldn’t have been the cause of a clash, their players were too hotheaded.”
The draw saw second-place SIPG slip four points behind Super League leaders and defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande.