Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has rejected claims that the English Premier League champions were arrogant and disrespectful during their pre-season visit to China last week.
Xinhua news agency published an editorial in English that criticized the conduct of the team during the Premier League Asia Trophy in Nanjing and Shanghai.
The editorial “Chinese fans’ love for Man City goes unreciprocated on home soil” accused the club of visiting China to “win wallets, not hearts and minds.”
It also said that City had “an attitude of arrogance” and that while the other clubs involved in the event won “a newfound respect and new fans,” City would “leave China with neither.”
Guardiola said those claims were simply “false.”
“To make a statement like this they have to know exactly what happened here in our club,” Guardiola told a news conference in Hong Kong, where City were to play another friendly yesterday.
“We had an incredible time in Shanghai. We were committed to the cooperation you have to do here in China. The people from the hotel, all the people, were asking us to do things and we were ready to do that,” he said. “To come to Asia and experience the culture, the restaurants — it’s amazing to get to know other people. That’s why I can’t understand what people are saying. Maybe one journalist is a bit upset, I don’t know why, but it’s far away from the reality.”
City arrived late in Shanghai after their flight was delayed by two days, then traveled by train to Nanjing for a game against West Ham United, before playing the Wolverhampton Wanderers in Shanghai on Saturday last week.
They were to play Kitchee in Hong Kong yesterday before wrapping up their Asian tour with a game in Tokyo on Saturday.
City winger Raheem Sterling also said that the team had a positive experience in China.
“Every time we got back from training to the hotel we embraced the fans, we signed signatures, we said our goodbyes. I thought there was a really good connection,” Sterling said. “We came a little bit later than we expected to China, the turnaround was a bit faster and a few of us struggled with sleep, but I thought China was a great experience. You ask the boys, they all loved it.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very