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Ref beaten as draw sparks match-fix claim – Shin gets nod as new SKorea coach

SHANGHAI, July 4, (Agencies): The Chinese FA launched an investigation into a match where a fourth official was reportedly attacked following a controversial draw that triggered claims of match-fixing.

Baoding Rongda were leading 2-1 when the referee awarded visitors Wuhan Zall a penalty during seven minutes of stoppage time at the end of Saturday’s fixture in China’s second division. The spot-kick was converted and the match ended 2-2.

Angry fans pelted the match officials with debris as they were escorted by security personnel from the pitch at the end, reported state-run newspaper the Beijing News.

Baoding chairman Meng Yongli burst into tears at a chaotic post-match press conference, alleging his side had been cheated out of the win.

The Beijing News reported that fourth official Yang Kaizi was beaten up in his dressing room, but the newspaper did not say who was responsible for the attack.

Meng gathered reporters on the pitch to announce he was pulling the team out of the league, before quitting as chairman hours later citing “personal reasons”.

Baoding, from near Beijing, subsequently apologised and said the club had no intention of leaving the competition.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced an investigation into the controversy.

“CFA is taking this seriously and will treat everyone involved sternly based on facts and regulations,” it said in a statement.

“We would like the club to express its opinion in a calm manner. In the meantime we call on the fans to remain rational and restrained.”

The state People’s Daily newspaper on Tuesday hit out at Meng and Baoding, accusing them of damaging the reputation of Chinese football.

Former under-20 boss Shin Tae-Yong was given the task of rescuing South Korea’s teetering World Cup qualifying campaign when he was named as the country’s new national team boss on Tuesday.

Shin replaces Uli Stielike, 62, South Korea’s longest-serving coach, who was axed last month after a shock defeat to Qatar left them in danger of missing direct qualification to Russia 2018.

South Korea are seeking to reach their ninth consecutive World Cup, a run which includes making the semi-finals on home soil in 2002.

The Taeguk Warriors’ 3-2 defeat to Qatar — the first in 32 years against that country — followed earlier losses to China and Iran and left them clinging to the last direct qualifying spot in Group A with two games to go.

Shin, 46, is a former midfielder for Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Brisbane Roar, where he had a brief stint as assistant coach before graduating to become manager of the K-League Classic club in 2010.

He has a reputation as a troubleshooter and led the national U23s ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, after his predecessor left in 2015 with cancer.

Shin took the helm of South Korea’s U20 team last November after a series of defeats, and steered them to the quarter-finals of this year’s U20 World Cup on home soil.

“We believe that Shin would be able to boost morale among players quickly and lead them to win the remaining qualifying matches,” Kim Ho-Gon, the head of the Korean Football Association’s technical committee, told reporters.

“Having served in the national teams before, he knows the current team members very well and has excellent communication skills,” Kim said.

Shin will lead the team through the 2018 World Cup if they qualify, Kim added.

Three-time J.League-winning coach Hajime Moriyasu has resigned from his position at the helm of Sanfrecce Hiroshima, the club announced on Tuesday.

Moriyasu steered Hiroshima to the Japanese league title in 2012, his first season in charge, before successfully defending it the following season and winning again in 2015.

The 48-year-old former Japan midfielder has overseen a disappointing campaign so far, with Sanfrecce slipping to 17th in the 18-team standings following a 4-3 loss to Urawa Red Diamonds at the weekend.

The defeat was the club’s fourth in a row in the league.

Basking in international glory, the German football federation said Tuesday that the number of players registered in the country had broken through the seven-million mark.

The federation said 7,043,964 men and women were registered members, an increase of 74,500 from the same time last year.

The growth, in a country of almost 83 million people, is largely attributed to the success of Germany’s international teams.

The men’s team are reigning World Cup champions and have just won the Confederations Cup in Russia, while the under-21 side were crowned European champions on Friday. The German women’s team are Olympic and European champions.

Swansea City manager Paul Clement is keen to make the most of the pre-season training of his Premier League club, which began on Monday.

Clement had no time for preparation last season as he joined Swansea in January with the club languishing at the bottom of the league table. He led them to four wins in their last five matches to secure a 15th placed finish.

“It’s the start of five weeks of vital preparation time – something I didn’t have when I first arrived at the club in January,” Clement was cited as saying on the club’s website. (www.swanseacity.com)

“We finished the season playing really well,” Clement added.

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