Pep Guardiola wants teams to walk off the pitch if players subject to racial abuse

Updated 29 March 2019

Pep Guardiola wants teams to walk off the pitch if players subject to racial abuse

  • City's Raheem Sterling just one of a number of England players subject to racial abuse during international in Montenegro.
  • Chelsea's Sarri also calls for tougher action in the face of racism from the stands.

LONDON: Pep Guardiola would consider taking his Manchester City players off the field in protest if any of his stars were the victims of racist abuse.
City star Raheem Sterling spoke out after he and a number of his England teammates were racially abused in an impressive 5-1 victory over Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday, calling for stadium bans.
Guardiola said society’s ills are to blame, but warned against the concerning rise of racist incidents at football games, including in England.
Sterling was also the subject of alleged racist abuse at Chelsea in December, while Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a banana skin thrown at him in the North London derby against Tottenham in the same month.
“I think in Europe it is, not in football, getting worse,” said Guardiola when asked about the issue. “I am a human being and it’s not nice.
Asked if City would walk off, Guardiola said: “We could do that, yeah.”
Guardiola was backed up in his call for teams to walk off the pitch by Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri. The Italian wants a new rule allowing matches to be halted if players are racially abused.
Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, like Sterling, was racially abused in Montenegro as well as during Chelsea’s Europa League match at Dynamo Kiev earlier in March.
And Sarri said: “”We need a rule I think, a rule for the Premier League, but for all the championships, for all of football. A rule that can permit us to stop the match.
“In every country there are some stupid people I think, so it’s a big problem,” he said.
“I think that we need to do something different, probably it’s right to stop the match for 10 minutes in the first situation.”


Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

Updated 08 July 2020

Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

  • The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded

SHANGHAI: The retirement of two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan signals the end of a golden era of Chinese sporting superstars, state media said on Tuesday.

Arguably the greatest badminton player of all time, the 36-year-old said on Saturday that he was bringing the curtain down on a career that also brought five world titles.

NBA All-Star Yao Ming, Olympic gold-medal hurdler Liu Xiang and two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Li Na have all retired in the last decade.

“With the ‘Super Dan’ curtain call, people cannot help but sigh,” Xinhua news agency said.

“The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded.

“When will the next Lin Dan appear? Or when will the next Yao Ming, Liu Xiang and Li Na appear?

“Where is the next Chinese sports superstar who will create a collective memory for us?”

The quartet were not just world leaders in their sport and popular in China, but also had “considerable influence in the international arena and became a window for the world to understand China,” Xinhua said.

Of prominent Chinese athletes left, women’s volleyball player Zhu Ting has the potential to rise to superstar level, Xinhua said, while disgraced swimmer Sun Yang “enjoys high popularity (in China), but unfortunately he is banned.” 

The 28-year-old is appealing against an 8-year ban for refusing to give a doping sample. The three-time Olympic freestyle champion’s career will effectively be over if he loses his appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

China has world champions in other sports, and finished third behind the US and Britain in the medal table at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but they are not generally well-known even inside the country, Xinhua said.

Table tennis player Zhang Jike, another three-time Olympic gold medalist, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Lin, said the Oriental Sports Daily.

But at 32 his best days are behind him and as far back as 2016 he signaled his intention to retire, before having a change of heart.

“When will the next Lin Dan and China’s next sports superstar appear again?” asked the newspaper.

“This question may not be answered in a short space of time.”