I’ve witnessed and heard of a lot of odd things in my years of following the Chinese Super League, but this might take the cake. Beijing Guoan’s manager Jamie Pacheco has been suspended 8 matches and fined RMB40,000 (over US$6,000) for a very heinous act, quite possibly the worst possible act if you ask the Chinese Super League. That’s right, he stuck his middle finger up and in the general direction of the Tianjin coaches (or possibly the linesman).
I don’t even know what to say, 8 matches?!? Because of a middle finger? In the 2009 Jing-Jin derby, Tan Wangsong was guilty of a late, brutal tackle on keeper Yang Zhi (see it here), a tackle that kept Yang out of matches, and yet he only received a 5 match suspension. Incidently it was also in the 2009 Jing-Jin derby that Tianjin manager Arie Haan pulled out a RMB100 note and shoved it toward the referee when he was pissed off about a call, for this he received a 3 match ban.
So insinuating that the referee is taking bribes gets you 3 matches, but a middle finger that hurts nobody gets you 8? For a first time fucking offender?!? I’m just sickened by this decision, Pacheco has been a spirited, lively presence on the Guoan touchline and has really brought life to the team this year. He’s also on a short term contract and an insane decision like this may mean he only stays in the capital for a single season.
The middle finger is a provocative gesture, I admit, and coaches need to be a model for their players and society at large, but this is taking China’s “harmonious” society and “cultured” stadiums a large step too far.
In other news of the weird coming out of the CFA spaceship, the league has reviewed match tape and come to three conclusions (I shit you not):
- Walter Martinez was fouled by Li Benjian when he attempted a header late in the 1st half, it should have been a penalty kick and Li should have been given a red card.
- On Tianjin’s “second goal”, the ball was out of the forward’s possession and Yang Zhi got to it first, thus the referee was correct in calling off the goal (though this play would have probably never happened because the player who “fouled” Yang was Li Benjian, who would have received a red card moments before).
- Roberto was offside on Guoan’s goal and it shouldn’t have counted. This point is equally irrational, you can make a case Martinez was offside, but Roberto?!?
The CFA works in strange, mysterious ways, I have nothing more to say, so I want to offer a few pictures as a gift to Wei Di and the other mindless numbskulls at the CFA.