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China TV Bans Top Football League

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China TV bans top football league

China's main TV station has stopped broadcasting matches from the country's top football league, accusing players of lacking "professional ethics".

China Central TV (CCTV) has temporarily pulled the plug on a league that seems constantly beset with problems.

A scuffle broke out between players of two top teams last week, while another team has been ejected from the league.

The head of CCTV's sports channel says the league must improve before it is allowed back on air.

In an interview with Titan Sports, China's top sports newspaper, Jiang Heping, head of the CCTV sports channel, pointed the finger at the players.

He told the newspaper that every week brought fresh bad news about players, who he said were letting down their fans.

"Some lack even the minimum professional ethics," Mr Jiang 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," he added.

Mr Jiang said the ban was only a temporary measure and did not mean CCTV would completely abandon the Chinese Super League.

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An article with photos/video of the latest fight in question: http://www.thebeijinger.com/blog/2008/11/13/Fight-at-the-Football

This over the top drama, rolling around, feigning injury, crying, etc. has been attributed in part to China's roots in Italian Serie A, the first televised foreign football league in China. The Chinese players who perpetrate it call it "clever" football. And basketball continues to grow in popularity...

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