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PR N° 34 - China sanctioned for mass brawl in Brazil friendly

GENEVA (FIBA) – FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, on Thursday announced that the coach of the Chinese National men’s team and three of their players have been suspended, following the investigation into the mass brawl that occurred during a friendly game with Brazil. The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) has also been fined for the incident.

On 12 October 2010 at the Jincheng Arena, in China’s Sichuan province, Chinese National Team head coach Robert Donewald Jr. angrily reacted to a refereeing decision and was called for a technical foul.

Following a second technical foul, he remained on his team’s bench in breach of the Official Basketball Rules. Two separate general brawls ensued, with Brazilian players coming under attack from Chinese players on both occasions. The game was stopped and never resumed.

As a result of FIBA’s investigation into these events and after careful consideration, the following sanctions have been handed down:

- Coach Robert Donewald Jr. is suspended with immediate effect for three official games. Donewald is also fined CHF 40,000.00. He will serve a two-year probationary period during which an exemplary and sportsmanlike behaviour shall be expected.
- Player Zhu Fangyu is suspended with immediate effect for two official games.
- Player Sun Yue is suspended with immediate effect for one official game.
- Player Zhang Bo is suspended with immediate effect for one official game.
- A fine of CHF 20,000.00 is imposed on the Chinese Basketball Association.

Additionally, the game’s three FIBA referees – Jiang Tongbiao, Jan Jun and He Luwei – were banned from nomination for official international competition for a period of one year after failing to officiate according to the letter and the spirit of the Official Rules of Basketball.

All parties have the right to appeal the decisions taken.

The proceeds from the fines will be used by the International Basketball Foundation (IBF) to support educational programs for young basketball players.

FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann said: “We remain committed to our responsibility of promoting fair-play as well as protecting the integrity of basketball. Coaches, players and referees share the responsibility for ensuring the game is played in a sporting and exemplary manner. This sends the important message that such violence within the sport is utterly unacceptable. We are grateful to the Chinese Basketball Association, who have been fully collaborative and have formally apologised, expressing their regret for this unfortunate incident.”