Football

Oscar banned for eight matches for sparking brawl

Former Chelsea midfielder Oscar was handed an eight-match ban by Chinese football authorities yesterday for his role in a brawl during Shanghai SIPG's draw with Guangzhou R&F in the Chinese Super League (CSL) last Sunday.

The Brazilian, who moved to China for a record transfer fee in January, was also fined 40,000 yuan (S$8,100) by the Chinese Football Association in the latest move by the country's authorities to stamp out indiscipline.

"According to the referee's report, video evidence and a written explanation from the parties involved... Oscar offended opposing players in an immoral manner, leading to a massive brawl which has had a very bad influence on the Chinese Super League's reputation," an official statement said.

The incident was triggered in the dying seconds of the first half of last Sunday's game after Oscar had set up Hulk to score his side's equaliser, with Guangzhou players complaining to officials the strike should have been ruled out for offside.

Soon after the restart, Oscar deliberately kicked the ball at two Guangzhou players, provoking a response that led to a scuffle on the halfway line.

Oscar, who joined SIPG for an Asian record transfer fee of 60 million euros (S$92.9m), was pushed to the ground by Guangzhou's Chen Zhizhao, while R&F's Li Tixiang and Fu Huan of SIPG were sent off for their part in the brawl.

Oscar's sanction is another sign Chinese authorities intend to crack down on poor behaviour as the profile of the CSL grows. Shenhua's Qin Sheng was given a six-month ban in March for stamping on the foot of Belgium international Axel Witsel in a game that was televised internationally. - REUTERS