Chinese coach apologises for slapping referee

A Chinese football coach has apologised for behaving “irrationally” after slapping a referee during a second-tier match on Sunday, his team Liaoning Shenyang said.

In videos that circulated on social media following the China League One match, coach Xin Duan could be seen confronting referee Chen Hao.

This was after a penalty kick was awarded against his team in the first half of a 4-0 defeat away by Nanjing City.


Xin was shown a red card for his protests on the touchline, prompting him to strike the official.

According to reports in Chinese media, Xin was later taken to hospital after fainting, before returning to the team hotel and apologising to the referee.

“In the first half of the match … the leader of our club, disagreed with the referee’s decision and acted irrationally, which violated the disciplinary guidelines of the CFA League,” Liaoning Shenyang said in a statement on their official Weibo account on Sunday.


“After the match, the management of our club has communicated with Xin Duan, who, along with the management of the first team, has realised the gravity of the mistake…

“Xin Duan and the management of the first team recognised the seriousness of the mistake and found the match supervisor and the referee on duty at the first time to sincerely apologise for the irrational behaviour.”

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nanjing City are fourth in the Chinese second-tier standings, while Liaoning Shenyang are in 13th place.


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