Shenzhen FC striker John Mary alleges racial abuse

Society & Culture

The Cameroonian center-forward received a red card after shouting abuse in Chinese back at the opponent's bench.

Reports of racial abuse toward Cameroonian striker John Mary cast a shadow over Shenzhen FC’s goalless draw with Shanghai Shenhua on Friday.

Mary leveled the allegations at the Shenhua bench, saying he overheard someone use racist language toward him.

The center-forward then found himself on the receiving end of a red card after shouting abuse in Chinese back at the Shenhua bench.

Following the game, a WeChat voice message from Mary was shared on Weibo by a reporter called “Jasmine.”

“I have been insulted because of what I am, being a black man,” Mary said in the voice message. “You know probably they think I don’t understand Chinese.”

“So tell me how would you feel if you’re a black person and you have been insulted like that? And they go unpunished, but they gave me a red card,” Mary added.

Shenzhen will appeal Mary’s red card, while the Chinese Football Association has opened an investigation into the incident.

This is not the first time a black player has been on the receiving end of racism. In August 2018, Changchun Yatai playmaker Zhang Li was suspended six games and fined $6,125 for racially abusing Demba Ba.

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Is China reopening for international sports?

ITTF World Cups
Team China after winning the ITTF Team World Cup in London in 2018

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Cup and the ITTF Finals will be staged in China, Xinhua reports.

The tournament, which features players from around the world, is set to take place in November.

In July, the Chinese government had stated that all international sporting events due to take place in 2020 would be canceled, except for Winter Olympics qualifying events. Last month, Formula One omitted the Chinese Grand Prix from its calendar.

Since that July announcement, things have turned for the better. Small numbers of fans have been allowed into events, with live spectators returning to the Chinese Super League last month.

And now it seems like ping-pong will be an exception to the “no international sports” rule.

Players, media, and officials at the tournament will remain in a “bubble,” as seen in the CBA, CSL, and other international sports competitions around the world.

But it’s too early to say if other sports will get a similar treatment. For instance, the HSBC Champions World Golf Championships event, originally scheduled for October 29 to November 1 in Shanghai, has been canceled.

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English Premier League gives PPTV the boot

English Premier League cancels TV deal with Chinese broadcaster PPTV

The English Premier League, global soccer’s wealthiest domestic club competition, has terminated its lucrative £564 million ($742 million) deal with PPTV.

The streaming platform agreed to the mammoth three-year deal with the Premier League in 2019. The contract with PPTV had been the Premier League’s most valuable international rights agreement.

The BBC reports that the decision for the parties to go their separate ways was a financial decision and not a political one.

Premier League sources told BBC Sport that PPTV had failed to submit its latest payment of £160 million ($211 million) due in March.

“The Premier League confirms that it has today terminated its agreements for Premier League coverage in China with its licensee in that territory,” the Premier League said in a statement.


The China Sports Column runs every week on SupChina.