Match halted after great brawl of China

February 16, 2007

BEIJING, Feb 16 (Reuters) - A pre-season friendly between Chongqing Qiche and Dalian Shide was abandoned on Thursday when a brawl broke out, local media reported on Friday.

The incident, another blow to the image of Chinese soccer, came a week after a match in London between China's Olympic team and English club Queens Park Rangers was abandoned because of fighting.

Chongqing were leading 3-0 when one of their players 'viciously kicked' Dalian's Zoran Jankovic from behind and the Bulgarian import 'could not help but retaliate', the Dalian Evening News said.

The match quickly turned ugly and the referee was forced to call it off 10 minutes into the second half, the paper said.

Eight-times champions Dalian hammered Chongqing 6-0 in their final Chinese Super League match of last season and finished fifth. Chongqing came last in the 15-team league and were relegated to Jia A.

The new Chinese Super League season starts on March 3.