First things first: trying to attack a referee is poor form for any number of reasons. You’re not going to accomplish a damn thing other than getting yourself in a metric assload of trouble. Punching somebody isn’t worth it.
(I was at a soccer match…
It’s very, very, very not worth it in that bastion of freedom, China. A young soccer player named Zhao Shitong (heh) went after a referee who dared give him a red card after a not-so-subtle stomp on an opposing player’s stomach. Video of the foul and the subsequent attack are after the break.
Unfortunately for Shitong, the Chinese Football Association was all too eager to put on their Keyser Soze hats when it came to meting out punishment.
As the GUARDIAN reports, Shitong has just played his last game of soccer in the country, and his friends on the team have an awfully long wait on their hands as well:
A footballer who led an attack on the referee after a qualifier for China’s 11th National Games last weekend was banned for life by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) on Thursday. […]
Several of his team mates were also handed lengthy bans for their part in the attack on He [Zhibiao], who had dismissed three Tianjin players in Beijing’s 3-1 victory.
Goalkeeper Li Gen and midfielder Hao Tengjiao, who chased the referee off the pitch, were each given three-year bans.
Two other players were banned for 30 months, two for two years, one for 10 matches and one for five matches. An official from Tianjin Teda, the local Chinese Super League club, was also banned for a year.
And thus, the great engine of authoritarianism remains well-lubricated with
the blood of those who stray justice.
We’re certainly not condoning the attack on a referee, especially after a pretty easy call on a red card, but the bans seem a touch, um, excessive. People lose their s–t during soccer matches. It happens.