Sat, Aug 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Shanghai soccer rivals urge calm for today’s derby


Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG yesterday urged calm on the eve of their combustible soccer derby, telling fans to be “rational” about the result — and clear up their trash.

The city rivals clash today in the Chinese Super League and feelings are to be running high for one of the biggest fixtures of the season.

Hundreds of police and security are to be on standby for the game at SIPG’s 56,000-capacity Shanghai Stadium.

The teams only met for the first time in 2013, but have built up a healthy rivalry since.

Shenhua are seen by their fans as the traditional Shanghai team and accuse the wealthier SIPG of pinching their supporters and trying to buy their way to success.

Some Shenhua fans have switched sides believing that SIPG are more likely to win trophies, adding more spice to derby day.

Major disorder at Chinese games is rare, but the clubs are taking no chances, and yesterday simultaneously issued identical statements on Sina Weibo, calling on supporters to behave.

“We are urging fans and the community to watch the game in a civil manner and bring more positive energy to Shanghai, and to be a good role model for children watching the game,” the statement said.

That means no “verbal attacks” on players, coaches, referees or opposing supporters, and no offensive banners, it said.

SIPG, who boast the expensive Brazilians Hulk and Oscar, are to be the favorites and are third in the league after 15 games. Shenhua are sixth.

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