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China captain Zheng Zhi gets four-game ban for handshake snub

FILE PHOTO: China's Zheng Zhi (L) is tackled by Hong Kong's Paulo Robspierry Carreiro during the 2018 World Cup qualifying match, in Hong Kong, China November 17, 2015. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China captain Zheng Zhi was handed a four-match suspension by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) on Friday following his failure to lead his Guangzhou Evergrande team mates into a post-match handshake with match officials last weekend.

The CFA has been cracking down on disciplinary issues in recent weeks.

Zheng, who has led Guangzhou to the Chinese Super League title in each of the last six seasons, was also fined 40,000 yuan ($6,000) by the CFA on top of a 100,000-yuan fine by his club for the incident, which happened after a 4-3 defeat by Tianjin Quanjian.

According to a CFA circular sent to Chinese Super League clubs, Zheng was fined for “not fulfilling his duty to lead players ... to complete the handshaking ceremony”.

Zheng’s team mates Mei Fang, Feng Xiaoting, Paulinho, Ricardo Goulart, Wang Shangyuan, Zeng Cheng, Zou Zheng, Huang Bowen, Yu Hanchao and Zheng Long were all also fined 10,000 yuan.

The suspension is Zheng’s second of the season. He was banned for two games after being sent off in a match against Beijing Guoan in March.

As part of its attempts to stamp out indiscipline, Beijing Guoan’s Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz was banned for five games and fined 25,000 yuan for pushing an opponent during his team’s 0-0 draw with Jiangsu Suning on Sunday.

Shanghai SIPG’s Oscar was handed an eight-game ban for instigating a mid-game melee while team mates Hulk and Wu Lei along with coach Andre Villas-Boas were suspended for two games for showing public support for the former Chelsea star.

Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Louise Ireland