Thu, Dec 04, 2008 - Page 20 News List

China’s bad boy Mao held for assault


Mao Jiangqing is escorted by a policeman in Shanghai, China, on Tuesday.


Chinese soccer bad boy Mao Jiangqing and one of his Shanghai teammates have been placed in police detention for a week after assaulting a man in a restaurant, state media reported yesterday.

The incident, in which the pair beat a restaurant patron and threw dishes and an ashtray, occurred hours after Mao’s Shanghai Shenhua lost the Chinese Super League title on Sunday night, the China Daily reported.

The victim, who was attacked after he greeted one of Mao’s female friends, suffered head injuries and bruises to his arms and chest. Two women were also injured when they tried to intervene.

Mao, 22, and teammate Liu Yintao were being held in police custody for a week and were fined 500 yuan (US$73), the report said.

Chinese Basketball Association player Xu Yong, who was eating with Mao, was also involved but escaped with just a fine because he was in poor health, the report said.

Shenhua drew 2-2 with local rivals Zhejiang Lucheng in Shanghai on Sunday in their final match of the season, leaving them two points behind Shandong Luneng.

The report said Mao’s club intended to punish him, with Shenhua chief executive Zhu Jun condemning the actions of his star player.

“Our players were emotional after losing the league title. They are normal people and need to release their emotions,” Zhu was quoted as saying. “But this does not mean they can choose to fight. Their behavior was totally wrong and it seriously violates the club’s regulations.”

The incident is the latest example of bad behavior from Mao, a talented left winger who has played key roles at both Shenhua and on China’s national team.

Shenhua relegated him to the reserve team two years ago after he stamped on his coach’s BMW during a drunken tirade.

As a teenager, he kicked a fan and hit a referee on separate occasions during different international tournaments, the newspaper said.

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