13.03.2019 06:29 h

Chinese FA to probe top ref after controversial draw

Chinese football has launched a review into the officiating of one of its top referees during a controversial draw, state media said on Wednesday.

Fu Ming, who took charge of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup, was widely criticised following the 2-2 stalemate between Shandong Luneng and Henan Jianye on Saturday.

Home side Shandong, who were missing former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, were angered by several decisions in the Chinese Super League clash.

Shandong, who conceded a debatable late penalty and were denied one of their own, complained to the Chinese Football Association (CFA) about four calls made by Fu and his team of officials.

"If indeed there were mistakes, (the CFA) will handle it in accordance with regulations," Xinhua news agency said, reporting that a review panel was looking into the matter.

The CFA did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment.

The 36-year-old Fu is one of the best-known football officials in China and one of only five full-time referees in the country, two of them foreign.

As well as FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Fu was also involved in the Asian Cup earlier this year, where he drew criticism for his display in host UAE's victory over Kyrgyzstan.

His performance at the weekend has been in the spotlight in Chinese social media ever since and triggered claims that he plagiarised parts of an academic paper he wrote on football several years ago.