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Oscar gets eight-game ban over China brawl

In the latest Asian-record transfer, Chelsea midfielder Oscar moved to Shanghai SIPG for $67 million

SHANGHAI, China, June 22 – Brazilian international Oscar was banned for eight games on Thursday for triggering a spectacular mass brawl in the Chinese Super League between his Shanghai SIPG side and Guangzhou R&F.

After the former Chelsea midfielder appeared twice to fire the ball deliberately at Guangzhou players on Sunday, he was rushed by several opponents. Oscar fell to the ground and a melee broke out around him.

The Chinese Football Association issued lengthy bans to four players, including the 25-year-old Oscar, and fined him 40,000 yuan ($6,000).

Oscar, who was not booked at the time of the scrap, is one of the most high-profile players in the Chinese Super League (CSL) after he joined SIPG for an Asian-record 60 million euros this season.

But that has not saved him from the mammoth ban as the CFA said he was responsible for sparking the ugly incident just before half-time in the away league match.

Oscar will not return to CSL action until late August. Among the games he will miss will be against Guangzhou Evergrande on July 22, as Andre Villas-Boas’s second-placed SIPG attempt to keep up the pressure on the league leaders.

“It very badly impacted the Chinese Super League match,” the CFA said in a statement, referring to Oscar’s key role in the dispute in which players, coaching staff and substitutes poured off the benches and waded in.

Two players, one from each side, were sent off for their part in the brawl.

One of them, Shanghai’s Fu Huan, was banned for six CSL games, and red-carded Guangzhou R&F player Li Tixiang got five games.

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Guangzhou’s Chen Zhizhao, who seemed to push Oscar to the floor, was banned for seven league games and both clubs were fined and warned about their behaviour.

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

Villas-Boas defended Oscar afterwards, saying he was “just being passionate”, and Oscar denied he purposely 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 the player as saying.

The CFA is not afraid to hand out stiff punishments to protect the reputation of Chinese football.

In March it hit Qin Sheng of Shanghai Shenhua with a six-month ban for stomping on Belgian international Axel Witsel.

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