A football coach who was convicted of manslaughter after a young player under his care died in an incident in 2009, has been named among the coaching staff for the Chinese China u15 youth team, according to Chinese media reports.
Lin Lin, who works at Chongqing Furen School in the south west of China, was named assistant coach for the squad which is due to travel to Spain for a training camp next month.
The news was greeted with shock in China due to Lin’s previous conviction. In July 2009, one of his pupils at Chongqing Yangjiaping Middle School, Mu Shihao, was physically punished by Lin who accused him of not training hard enough in a running session.
The 14-year-old schoolboy died as a result of injuries sustained during the beating and Lin was detained soon afterwards. On 8 September 2010, Lin was sentenced to three years in jail for manslaughter – a sentence which may have taken into account the fact he had already paid compensation of 800,000 RMB (Euro 100,000) to Mu Shihao’s family.
The revelation comes as Xu Genbao, the respected Shanghainese coach, recently criticised the current crop of youth coaches in Chinese football.
During his career coaching young footballers in Chongqing, Lin once trained up and coming right-back Deng Hanwen, who has seven appearances for China and recently moved from Beijing Renhe to Guangzhou Evergrande for more than 100 million RMB, according to reports.
There is little information as to how Lin got back into coaching in the first place after his release from prison, or how he gained a position with Chongqing Furen school, whose name includes Chinese characters commonly used to denote a connection with the Catholic religion. There is also no info as to the process which led to Lin being given such a prominent national coaching role.
There is precedent in China for football professionals with a criminal record to re-enter the game. Shen Si and Qi Hong who were both convicted of match fixing whilst playing for Shanghai Shenhua’s championship winning 2003 side (an honour which was rescinded a decade later) went straight into coaching after being released from jail.
However, with child abuse a hot topic following a recent incident a kindergarten in Beijing, the lack of transparency regarding Lin’s appointment as a youth coach has again touched a nerve in Chinese society.
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