Shanghai Shenhua Football Club is committed to seeing that a Dalian Football Association official, who beat up a female sports reporter on the weekend, is brought to justice, the club's manager said Sunday.
The pledge came hours before Dalian Football Association apologized last night, saying that Guo Jun, its secretary general would be suspended, while another staff member, identified only as Yu, had been deemed responsible for the incident and fired.
But Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News reporter Tao Xingying responded, angry that the Dalian Football Association had downplayed the event in their written statement.
"They grabbed me by the throat and punched me in the face," she said late Sunday on her microblog.
She added that she was further kicked three times while she was down - and left with minor injuries that were not severe enough to seek medical attention, however.
The incident occurred after Shanghai Shenhua defeated Dalian Shide on Saturday, in a 1-0 victory that relegated the Northeast China football team to the bottom of the Chinese Super League.
The twenty-something reporter was interviewing Shanghai Shenhua assistant coach Jean-Florent Ikwange Ibenge at Dalian's Jinzhou Stadium at the time.
Guo, the official from Dalian Football Association, had only meant to rush Tao away so that Shanghai Shenhua could exit the stadium, according to Dalian Football Association. It added that it will open an investigation into the case.
Shanghai Shenhua team manager Guo Guanqi said Sunday that the team will do its part to see that Guo, the Dalian Football Association official, is adequately penalized for his unacceptable behavior.
"A couple of our players, including our goalkeeper, Wang Dalei, jumped in and pulled the reporter away," he told the Global Times Sunday. "It's despicable that an official from the Dalian Football Association would do such a thing."
The Shanghai Shenhua team manager added that the team members are willing to testify, if it comes to that.
Reporter Tao added Sunday that she was "shocked and appalled" that reporters' rights to conduct interviews after the game were unprotected - a "serious case" that the Chinese Football Association said Sunday it is looking into.
Fellow reporters at the game, including online news stream PPTV Live reporter, a man surnamed Wang, said that Guo, the Dalian Football Association official, snatched his camera and erased his footage.
"Guo Jun, with the help of security guards, took my equipment and deleted my stuff," he told the Global Times Sunday, adding that he plans to file a complaint to authorities.
Guo, the Dalian Football Association official, could not be reached for comment Sunday by the Global Times.