GOAL: Shanghai SIPG' Brazilian forward Hulk (C) and teammate Elkeson celebrate a goal during the AFC Asian Champions League.

‘No evidence’ of Brazil star wrongdoing in punch row

Editorial

10. mai 2017

Football

A Chinese football official has said there is no evidence that Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk broke any rules after the Brazilian was accused of punching a rival team’s coach.

Artikkelen fortsetter under annonsen

Guizhou Zhicheng’s then head coach Li Bing had accused the muscular Brazilian of punching his assistant Yu Ming in a racially-motivated attack at half-time during SIPG’s 3-0 victory on Saturday, allegations that the Shanghai club and Hulk both flatly denied.

On Monday, Guizhou Zhicheng abruptly announced that Spaniard Gregorio Manzano, former coach of Shanghai club Shenhua, had replaced Li as coach. The club gave no further information or indication that Li was let go because of the Hulk controversy.

«At half-time there indeed was a dispute between the two sides. But according to our understanding of the situation so far, there is no evidence that Hulk violated any regulations,» Li Lipeng, a Chinese Football Association (CFA) official involved in overseeing the professional leagues, said in Beijing on Tuesday.

Artikkelen fortsetter under annonsen

Speaking to Chinese media, Li added that the run-in «was not as serious as some imagined.»

The comments appeared to suggest that Hulk, one of a number of highly paid foreign stars imported to the cash-rich Chinese Super League, was unlikely to be sanctioned over the controversy.

Guizhou’s Li had suggested Hulk had a racial motive for the alleged attack, saying that the Brazilian star «cannot be here and despise Chinese people,» though he later appeared to back off those comments.

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