Chinese footballer banned for life
Chinese Football Association issues life ban after player attacks referee.
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2009 10:59 GMT

China's football woes continue [GALLO/GETTY]
The Chinese Football Association have banned for a life a player who chased a referee for half the field before pushing him to the ground.

The CFA announced in a statement that Tianjin player Zhao Shitong had been banned for life, and that five other players were banned for two to three years.

The players attacked referee He Zhibiao after losing 3-1 to Beijing in a July 26 provincial playoff for the National Games.

Red card

The referee issued three Tianjin players with red cards during the second half of the game.

At the end of the game, Zhao and the other players started yelling and pushing through security guards to get to the referee.

Zhao then was seen in footage broadcast on state television chasing He and pushing him to the ground.

The pushing and arguing lasted 20 minutes before security officials got control of the situation.

"We hope clubs enhance the management and education of coaches and players and improve match discipline in order to prevent such thing from happening again,'' Wang Xiaoping, the association's director of discipline, said in a statement.

The association also kicked Tianjin out of the National Games to be held in October.

Football is very popular in China, but there are serious problems in the game.

The domestic professional league is tainted by bribery and brawling.

China's top league returned to national TV in March, ending a four-month ban imposed because of on-field violence.

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