Jul 20, 2016

    Ba's injury blamed on 'unfriendly way' of playing


    A HORRIFIC injury to football star Demba Ba has prompted calls for more professional operation of the big-spending Chinese Super League, according to football insiders.

    "A tight schedule of the domestic league in recent months, together with a fierce but unfriendly way of playing, should be blamed for the serious injury to Demba Ba," said Xie Liang, a veteran commentator at Radio Guangdong.

    The Senegalese international, 31, who plays for Shanghai Greenland Shenhua, suffered a broken leg in the Shanghai derby on Sunday evening, after tangling with city rival SIPG defender Sun Xiang in the second half.

    According to the Shenhua club, Ba, formerly with English Premier League giants Chelsea, will be out for at least seven to eight months.

    According to the schedule, a team have to play at least two domestic games a week in July.

    "You know, it is such a hot July, which is usually not the right time for playing football. In most developed football countries, the leagues have already concluded before summer and players are now on holiday," Xie said.

    The lack of skill of Chinese players should also be blamed for serious injuries, according to Xie.

    "Players who commit serious fouls should be seriously punished," he urged.

    Shanghai Shenhua filed an appeal on Monday to the Chinese Football Association and Chinese Super League Organising Committee, asking for additional punishment for Sun, according to a statement by the club.

    As Ba and Sun fell, Ba's left leg was trapped behind his opponent's leg, with his foot pinned to the turf. The bone bent at an extreme angle and then snapped below the knee.

    Sun, also a former national team player and captain of SIPG, was not booked in the Sunday match, which had 10 yellow and two red cards as both sides finished with 10 men.

    "It was absolutely a malicious foul. Chinese players, sometimes, have to commit fouls when marking as they can't keep up a competitive pace with skilful foreign players," Xie told China Daily.

    Chinese players should learn from top international players in the domestic league, which has attracted a large number of players from top foreign leagues due to hefty investments.

    "It is good to see that the domestic league has become more competitive following the introduction of top players. But Chinese players should play in a more skilful and professional manner," Xie said.