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Friday, February 16, 2007

Chinese Decide No Need for China Apology

CFA pulls back - No apology for QPR affair
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-02-16 14:31

Taking flak from Chinese soccer fans and news media over an immediate and unilateral apology for the melee between the nation's Olympic team and Queen's Park Rangers in London last week, the China Football Association (CFA) turned back its heel as convincing evidences in the form of video and photo were released.

A group of grabs televised on CCTV 5 shows the brawl between China's Olympic soccer team and Queen's Park Rangers in London last Wednesday. [CCTV]

A CFA official admitted Wednesday the apology had landed China into passive position as photo and video show it was not China's fault. The association has decided not to mete out penalties to its players since QPR assistant manager Richard Hill was suspended for involvement in the brawl.

Reports said the badly-injured Zheng Tao and Chen Tao would file claim against QPR.

The brawl erupted after China's striker Gao Lin aimed a flying kick at a QPR player during the two sides' friendly last Wednesday. The following intermingling melee saw Zheng Tao knocked unconscious and sent to a hospital and Chen Tao leave the field with bloody nose.

The CFA made a quick response to the emergency the same day. "We apologize and we will work harder on disciplining and educating our players," said the CFA, giving an impression that China was fully responsible for the fight.

Gao, believed to trigger the brawl, was suspended as punishment and six other players involved in the fight were sent home the next day.

As soon as the incident was reported, fans began to pour complaints into on-line forums that it was a shame for the national team to be linked with the amateur team in such a disrepute way. They also wondered why a Chinese national team was made to play with an English amateur team.

An on-line poll posted shortly after the brawl by Football Night, a program of CCTV indicated 45.7 percent of the respondents said the Chinese national players had no regard for professional morality to commit such a shameful conduct on overseas filed.

But everything began to reverse during the following days as the game video and reports by on-site journalists were released.

Ma Dexing, a journalist with Titan Sports, who was covering the team's England tour, was the first to unfold the happenings. "The victim was the Chinese side," he said. He wrote several harshly worded articles on his blog, directing the attack on the CFA for groundless apology that make the Chinese side as the accused.

The assistant coach Hill was caught by Ma in a photo in the act of punching a Chinese player.

"Overseas media have used the apology as evidence to fuel counteraction among English fans," Ma wrote on his blog. Reports said that over 70 percent of the English citizens believed China was fully responsible for the incident.

"I had no idea at all what exactly happened during the brawl. Only after I watched the videos from CCTV did I knew the truth. Our players fought back because the QPR players provoked them with ugly tackles throughout the match," said a soccer fan from Beijing.

78 percent of the poll respondents said the CFA was wrong to apologize before truth came out. Some fans were as straight as saying they felt ashamed of the association.

Compare to the Chinese association, the QPR manager said only after they have found the truth should they take any action.

"It is clear the CFA is trying to find a scapegoat for the incident," said former CCTV sports commentator Huang Jianxiang on his blog.

Wang Xiaodong, a juvenile researcher said to China Youth Daily CFA dealt with the emergency regardless for countrymen's feelings but concerning too much about the foreign country's. China

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