SHANGHAI (AFP) – Two Chinese football teams purposely scored own goals to try to lose a farcical match in what has been described as “an unbelievable” scene and “a smear” on the game.
Widely shared footage of the game between the over-35 sides showed them strolling about and kicking the ball into their own nets unchallenged with the match locked at 2-2 towards the end.
The teams, on the southern island province of Hainan, were desperate to lose to avoid facing a stronger opponent in the elimination round of the competition.
Hainan’s football association called it “an unbelievable scene” and urged organisers to ban both teams for life.
“We condemn this kind of unethical behaviour, which is a smear on amateur football in Hainan,” the association said in a statement.
“Chinese football, how low can you go?” wrote a sports blogger on the Twitter-like Weibo who has five million followers.
The state-run China News Service said that such farcical scenes were all too common.
“Although this kind of behaviour is outrageous, it is distressing that on the chaotic amateur football field, negative situations like this often occur.” Chinese media and the local football association did not say which team eventually succeeded in losing the game.