BEIJING, China: The Chinese National Team has been suspended from training for a month following a nasty flare up of tempers during a friendly game against a Brazilian professional side on Tuesday.
“The CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) apologizes to the Brazilian side and all other parties over the incident which created such serious consequences,” CBA vice-chairman Li Jinsheng said in a statement.
“The CBA takes full responsibility for this,” Li Jinsheng said.
“We have ordered the team to suspend its training and to reflect upon its mistakes deeply. The CBA sincerely apologizes to the Brazilian team, all the fans and media,” he added.
“We have suspended the national team pending further investigation. Players, coaches and the team manager who were involved in the incident will be punished.”
The game, which took place in Xuchang in central China’s Henan province late on Tuesday, descended into violence just 66 seconds after the opening tip-off, when China coach Bob Donewald Jr. picked two early technicals.
Players exchanged punches and kicks before the brawl was halted and the Brazilian players headed for the locker room.
As they were set to leave the court, however, the Chinese players charged again and the violence reignited.
The Brazilians refused to consider any return to play.
“This incident has exposed the lax administration and the educational shortcomings of the (CBA),” Li Jinsheng was quoted as saying by international news agency Reuters.
Li Jinsheng also vowed to mete out harsh penalties on key offenders before the Asian Games.
“We will report the results of our investigations to FIBA and FIBA Asia,” said Li Jinsheng.
“The CBA is always strict in the sense of discipline. We will educate our players that fighting spirit on the court is not the same as rudeness,” he added.