Three held over stabbing of Chinese player

November 3, 2006

BEIJING, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Chinese police have detained three men in connection with the near-fatal stabbing of Dalian Shid midfielder Quan Lei, local media reported on Friday.

Quan, 21, was rushed to hospital last month after being stabbed at least 10 times in the northeastern city of Dalian by several men as he got out of his car on the way to a birthday party for his father.

The newspaper did not say if the three had been charged.

The Beijing News, citing a police statement from a press conference on Thursday, said the Super League player had been attacked because he had become 'too intimate' with the girlfriend of a businessman.

Quan's return to professional football depended on the nerves and tendons in his legs fully healing, the paper said citing staff at the Dalian hospital that treated him.

The stabbing prompted a Chinese sport official to call for the country's players to be more disciplined in their personal lives, local media reported last month.

Quan's attack followed the stabbing of Shenzhen defender Lu Bofei in September. Lu was stabbed multiple times by several men who accosted him on a bridge as he headed home after a night out.