Zhang Li denies hurling racial slur at Demba Ba

Source:AFP Published: 2018/8/12 22:28:40

A Chinese player has denied using a racial slur against Sengalese striker Demba Ba during a recent match, his first response to a race row that has rocked the Chinese Super League.

Changchun Yatai midfielder Zhang Li was banned six matches and fined 42,000 yuan ($6,000) last week by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) following his heated confrontation with Shanghai Shenhua's Ba during a recent 1-1 draw.

Various Chinese media reported that Ba - who was visibly angry - later said that Zhang had hurled racially insulting remarks at him, and Yatai's coach admitted an unnamed player had used "insulting language."

Chinese soccer authorities said Zhang was being punished because he "interfered with the normal order of the game, causing chaos and adverse social impact." But the statement made no reference to race or racial abuse.

On Saturday, Zhang addressed the allegations for the first time.

"Slander is spreading and swelling. I could sue you. I am not a troublemaker," he wrote on his Weibo account.

"After the incident, all kinds of demons and monsters dumped dirt on me to brand me, but I ignored them, waiting for authorities to tell everyone that I'm not a racist."

Posted in: SOCCER

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