High school football match brawl sparks concerns over match violence in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/4/16 20:33:40

A screen shot of video footage of the fight at a soccer match in Haikou high school on Sunday. Photo: Courtesy of Sina Weibo

Players and fans involved in a brawl on Sunday at a high-school soccer match in Haikou in South China's Hainan Province have been punished, according to the local football association on Tuesday. The incident, the latest in a series of such brawls, has prompted concerns over frequent violence at amateur football matches in China.  

A video on Chinese social media platforms showing teenage players rushing onto the playing field to join the fight has grabbed a lot of attention. 

The video shows several players from two competing school teams from different cities fighting during the Hainan high school men's football league semifinals. Some members of the audience also rushed onto the field to join the melee. 

The Hainan Football Association told the Global Times on Tuesday that the teams and personnel involved have been punished in accordance with provisions of the Hainan Sports Competition Discipline and Punishment Regulations.

According to the association, the scuffling started after the referee awarded a foul during the match. The referee, security personnel, competition supervisors and coaches took control of the situation. One slightly injured athlete was sent to the local hospital.

In an incident in July 2017, a player was fined and permanently banned from football activities, after he slapped a referee during an amateur football match in Shanghai.

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