Sports

South American woes in Chinese Super League as fans turn on Tevez while Oscar sparks mass brawl

South American woes in Chinese Super League as fans turn on Tevez while Oscar sparks mass brawl
Carlos Tevez, whose itinerant career has seen him take in Manchester City, United and Juventus, has failed to fire at Shanghai Shenhua because of injury and inconsistent form. Photo: AFP
Published: 6:00 PM, June 19, 2017
Updated: 7:41 PM, June 19, 2017

BEIJING - Carlos Tevez is facing growing calls to be shipped out as angry Shanghai Shenhua fans turn on the Argentine forward and under-pressure manager Gus Poyet, while Brazilian international Oscar is in trouble after triggering a mass brawl during a Chinese Super League match between his club, Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou R&F.

Shenhua fans are fast losing patience with Tevez, who only moved to the Chinese club at the start of the year from Boca Juniors on a reported €38 million (S$59 million) salary that makes him one of the highest-rewarded footballers on the planet.

In April Tevez, 33, came under fire from supporters after being spotted at Disneyland Shanghai on the same day he missed an important match due to injury.

With big-spending Shenhua in the lower half of the Chinese Super League (CSL) following a home 2-2 draw with Chongqing Lifan, some have had enough.

Argentine media quoted Tevez as saying he could leave Chinese football at the end of the season and Poyet apologised after Saturday’s stalemate, telling state media: “We did well in attack today, but made two big mistakes in defence and conceded two goals.”

Tevez, whose itinerant career has seen him take in Manchester City, United and Juventus, has failed to fire because of injury and inconsistent form.

He has scored only once this season, although he did grab an assist in the 2-2 draw, and last month called Chinese players “clumsy” and “very naive”.

Tevez has a history of falling out with clubs and managers and one infuriated fan wrote on China’s Twitter-like Weibo website after his latest underwhelming showing: “Tevez’s attitude is the worst in the team’s history.”

Another fed-up fan wrote: “Tevez should leave Shenhua. Compared to other players running on the field, Tevez is scared to close down and is afraid to get hurt... Tevez’s deal is really not worth it”.

One using the name RONALDO7wbfp wrote: “He is here for the high salary and the Disney membership.

“If you really can’t bear it and is disappointed with the team, then do something to lead the team through the rough times instead of taking strolls on the pitch like a master.”

Chinese football fans on social media speculated that the Uruguayan Poyet, a former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, could be the latest CSL coach to get the chop after a run of six games without a win.

CSL clubs are not afraid to wield the axe and six coaches were shown the door in the space of just one month recently.

“I ask the players to fight hard and show strong desire for victory. But as the coach I am responsible for the result,” the Shanghai Daily quoted the 49-year-old Poyet as saying.

Meanwhile, Oscar triggered a mass brawl in the Chinese Super League as players and staff from his Shanghai SIPG side and opponents Guangzhou R&F scrapped on the pitch.

After the former Chelsea midfielder appeared twice to fire the ball deliberately at Guangzhou players, he was rushed by several opponents.

Oscar fell to the ground (above. Photo: AFP) and a melee broke out.

One player from each side was sent off as the opening of the CSL transfer window was marked in rambunctious style.

The fight erupted just before half-time in Sunday’s CSL clash at Guangzhou R&F, where Andre Villas-Boas’ SIPG were attempting to keep up the pressure on league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.

Oscar cost SIPG a whopping €60 million in the last transfer window, the biggest such deal in Asian football history.

He sparked the confrontation when he lashed the ball twice at R&F players.

The home side’s Chen Zhizhao retaliated, pushing the 25-year-old Brazilian to the ground. Then players, coaching staff and substitutes poured off the benches and waded in as Oscar lay face-down on the pitch.

When order was restored after pushing and shoving, R&F’s Li Tixiang and Shanghai’s Fu Huan were dismissed and three others were booked.

Oscar was unhurt and the fiery encounter finished 1-1 to leave SIPG four points behind reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

Villas-Boas defended Oscar, saying he was “just being passionate”, and Oscar denied he purposely twice aimed the ball at R&F players.

“Disrespect the opponent? It is not true. I am a very dedicated player and respect sportsmanship,” Sina Sports website quoted him as saying. AFP