The Chinese Football Association (CFA) have found ‘no evidence’ to suggest that Shanghai SIPG striker Hulk punched the coach of a rival team on Saturday.
Hulk, who joined SIPG from Zenit St Petersburg in an Asian record deal worth €55million (£46.5m) in June last year, was accused of punching Guizhou Zhicheng’s assistant coach Yu Ming at half-time during his side’s 3-0 win.
Zhicheng were were quick to call the authorities to take action and have the 30-ear-old face action.
Hulk (pictured) is claimed to have punched an opposing coach at half-time on Saturday night
The CFA have, however, have investigated the matter and deemed that it was ‘not as serious as people think’.
‘As far as we know, a quarrel did occur during half-time between the two parties, but there is no evidence Hulk committed a disciplinary offence,’ said Li Lipeng, deputy director of the Executive Board of CFA Professional League.
‘It is understandable that that both parties are eager to win, and it’s quite normal to have disputes. However, to the best of our knowledge, the incident is not as serious as people think.
‘Shanghai SIPG had delivered all the evidence relevant to the case to Guizhou Zhicheng, who will decide if they will take further action.
‘Basically, an agreement has been reached between the two parties.’
Hulk’s club Shanghai SIPG refuted the ‘inappropriate’ claims and say they are untrue
However, Zhicheng’s caretaker coach Li Bing has demanded Hulk take responsibility for his behaviour.
He posted on Weibo: ‘I am just an ordinary football coach and I told the whole story in a matter-of-fact way, singling out Hulk for his bad behaviour as a professional player.
‘He is a world-class star and I admire his footballing skills. However, to err is human and I suppose he is afraid to admit when he makes a mistake.
‘The truth is Hulk provoked [my assistant] Li Sheng, started the argument and then punched [another assistant] Yu Ming.
‘What matters is not the seriousness of his punch, but the nature of his behaviour.
‘Given the fact that a CCTV camera is erected in the lobby and another one along the corridor, I am convinced the incident will present itself clearly. Unless the cameras are out of order.’
Shanghai SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas also denies claims tempers frayed at half-time