Chinese Football Legend Calls for Stern Action after mass brawl between Chinese and Thai footballers

In the aftermath of a brawl during the AFC Champions League clash between Zhejiang FC and Buriram United, former China captain Fan Zhiyi has expressed strong condemnation for the “murderous” actions of Buriram’s Ramil Sheydayev. The incident, marked by clashes between players and coaching staff from both teams, has sparked calls for severe penalties.

Video footage revealed Sheydayev attempting to choke two Zhejiang players during the brawl that erupted at the Huzhou Olympic Sports Centre. While the exact trigger for the confrontation remains unclear, reports suggest that tensions escalated after players exchanged heated words.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is actively investigating the incident and refrained from commenting on ongoing disciplinary matters. The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has taken a firm stance against on-field violence, emphasizing its opposition to such behavior.

Fan Zhiyi, expressing disbelief at the on-field chaos, specifically pointed out Sheydayev’s actions, labeling them as “crazy.” The 54-year-old, who captained the national side in 1996, asserted that the Buriram players’ conduct posed a serious threat of causing injuries and called for stringent punishment.

Highlighting the potential consequences if teammates failed to intervene, Fan insisted on substantial repercussions for Sheydayev. He underscored the importance of fair punishment, stating that it would be unjust if Zhejiang were to face severe penalties.

Chinese media reports suggest that Zhejiang’s captain, Theerathon Bunmathan, may have initiated the skirmish by using offensive language. The situation escalated rapidly, with Sheydayev allegedly running across the pitch to choke Zhejiang players from behind.

The Buriram striker’s provocative behavior continued on social media, where he reportedly taunted Zhejiang players and challenged them to confront him. The AFC guidelines stipulate that involvement in a brawl could lead to a four-game suspension and a minimum fine of US$10,000.

In addition to potential fines, the Chinese Super League outfit, Zhejiang FC, may face additional penalties for the unruly behavior of home fans, who threw items onto the pitch during the melee. Fines for such incidents range from US$10,000 to US$40,000.

The CFA has asserted its commitment to reinforcing supervision over all clubs, emphasizing adherence to regulations in both international and domestic competitions. As the investigation unfolds, the football community awaits the AFC’s decision on the penalties, while both teams prepare for the final round of group matches in December.