Lengthy bans after record Chinese red-card count

Two players in the Chinese Super League face five-game bans and hefty fines as the red card tally of the CSL escalates to 10 in 24 games.

Chinese Super League

The Chinese Super League has seen a record 10 red cards given in the first 24 matches of the season. (Representative Image)   -  AFP

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) handed out two lengthy bans after what’s being called the ‘dirtiest start’ to a Chinese Super League season.

There have been 10 red cards in 24 matches so far in this campaign, a record for the CSL, Chinese media reports say.

Five of this season’s red cards have come on the opening weekend alone.

There were two dismissals in Chongqing Lifan’s controversial 1-0 home win over newly promoted Shenzhen FC on Sunday.

One of the players who got marching orders was Shenzhen captain Ge Zhen after planting a boot into the groin of an opponent 10 minutes from time.

READ | Mike Dean and the ‘red’ hot discipline

Ge was handed a five-game ban and fined 50,000 yuan ($7,500).

Brazilian Rafael Silva was also hit with a five-game ban and 50,000 yuan fine after his dismissal in Wuhan Zall’s 2-1 loss to Jiangsu Sainty on Sunday.

Scoring a consolation goal was not going to suffice for the forward who was sent off three minutes later for kicking the ball into the face of a Jiangsu player. Silva and Ge will each miss six games in total.

Fans have often called CFA punishments ‘over-the-top’, especially when former Chelsea star Oscar was handed an eight-game ban in 2017 for a scuffle involving his club Shanghai SIPG.

State media has warned that a repeat will not be tolerated by football chiefs. “On the one hand, it is based on the consideration of maintaining the brand of the league. On the other, it is also for the protection of the players themselves,” said Xinhua.