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Chinese TV suspends footie coverage

Lads not giving 110% in the 'professional ethics' department

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China Central TV (CCTV) has suspended coverage of a football league whose players appear to have learned their skills from their petulant European counterparts, the BBC reports.

CCTV sports channel supremo Jiang Heping firmly pointed the finger at ball-worriers whose weekly antics have provided the press with plenty of juicy copy. The Beeb cites in particular a scuffle last week between members of Beijing and Tianjin which also involved the teams' coaches weighing into the fracas.

Jiang lamented the players' "lack of professional ethics", and said: "The state of Chinese football at the moment makes everyone feel bitter. If it goes on like this, it's in danger of being thoroughly destroyed."

Other scandals include the matter of the team from Wuhan which was ejected from the league altogether after "refusing to play matches in protest at a ban given to one of their players". The BBC explains that Chinese footie is having trouble "finding sponsors for a competition which attracts angry crowds, and has problems with match fixing and bribery".

We'd like to to think CCTV's exemplary action would give teams in this part of the world pause for thought, but then they're too busy aggressively berating the ref at every opportunity or aggressively abusing the ref at post-match press conferences if things don't go their way.

We tried this afternoon to ring Real Madrid's Bernd Schuster and Man U's Sir Alex Ferguson for a comment, but were told they were "tied up slagging off some linesman for a suspect offside decision". Joey Barton was likewise unavailable to discuss professional ethics. ®

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