Beijing Guoan have come in for criticism in the Korean media following the release of pictures showing vandalism of the club’s changing room at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.
The incidents followed Guoan’s 3-1 defeat to FC Seoul in the Asian Champions League, with several news outlets in South Korea accusing the visiting players of “disgracing” Chinese football.
The pictures released would appear to show damage to the tactics board, signs, door and a bin within the locker room.
Yonhap news lead with the headline: “Guoan lose and resort to ugly vandalism”, before going on to report that a fine “Capital derby” was let down by the Guoan player’s poor behaviour.
Other outlets preferred to list details of the damage caused, while football website “BEST ELEVEN” led the criticisms.
They said of the damage: “It wasn’t because the game was unfair, Guoan simply weren’t good enough. After the game, they lacked class. They were simply causing trouble and discrediting the image of Chinese football.”
Until now, Chinese media has been unable to add any comment on the matter, simply reporting the claims of the Korean press. However, some chose to question the lack of evidence that the damage was caused by the Chinese side.
Reaction on comment sections and social media, also, has been mixed. Some fans have expressed disappointment at the players’ conduct, while rival supporters have also spoken of hope that Guoan will be punished over the trouble.
Guoan fans’ reactions have also been predictably mixed, with some asking why the local authorities have not released video of the incident, while others accept that the damage likely occurred.
There is, though, widespread bemusement at the level of publicity afforded to the incident, which appears to have caused only minor damage that could, and probably should, have been dealt with between the two clubs.
It remains to be seen whether the AFC will seek to investigate the incident.
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