Chinese League: Scolari Bids Farewell After Guangzhou Triumph

Head coach of China’s Guangzhou Evergrande Luiz Felipe Scolari (C) speaks after their match against Tianjin Quanjian in Guangzhou on November 4, 2017. STR / AFP

Luiz Felipe Scolari thanked the Guangzhou Evergrande players and fans on Saturday after what is expected to be his final game in charge at the freshly crowned Chinese Super League (CSL) champions.

The 68-year-old was not on the bench for the dead-rubber 2-1 home defeat to Tianjin Quanjian because of suspension, but the decorated Brazilian coach emerged onto the pitch afterwards to see his side lift the CSL trophy.

Guangzhou last month wrapped up a seventh CSL title on the bounce, with two games to spare, and Scolari told the Tianhe Stadium via microphone on Saturday: “First of all, thanks to all of you for your support and company along the way.

“Thank you Guangzhou Evergrande for bringing me to China and to Guangzhou, where I spent two-and-a-half years’ sweet time with you together.”

Turning to his triumphant squad and with a sweep of his arm, the former Brazil and Portugal national coach added: “Finally, I sincerely thank these young men in front of me, you are the best.”

Guangzhou have kept tight-lipped amid widespread Chinese media reports that Scolari had chosen not to renew his contract in southern China.

Reports say that Italian World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro could be the man to replace Scolari.

Ironically, it was Cannavaro’s Tianjin who made it a losing finish to Scolari’s reign.

The final-day victory for Tianjin, coupled with defeat for Hebei China Fortune, propelled them into a third-place CSL finish and means they will contest the AFC Champions League play-offs next season.

– Hat-tricks –

Cannavaro’s men went ahead on 18 minutes when Anthony Modeste punished poor marking to fire in from close range with a first-time half-volley.

It was the French predator’s seventh goal since arriving from Cologne in Germany in the summer mid-season transfer window.

It was a game of few chances and with the league title in the bag for the hosts, it had the feel of an exhibition game.

There was a flare-up six minutes from half-time when Guangzhou’s Brazilian forward Alan nudged Wang Yongpo off the ball and the tattooed Tianjin midfielder comically tumbled to the floor.

He was soon up and Singaporean referee Muhammad Bin Jahari, one of the foreign officials drafted in late in the CSL season to improve the standard of Chinese officiating, waved both players away.

On the hour Tianjin made it 2-0 when Sun Ke slotted into an empty net on the six-yard box as the home defence went walkabout.

Cannavaro, the former Guangzhou manager linked in Chinese media with a return to the hot seat, implored his side to keep pushing for more goals.

But it was the champions who were to score minutes later, defender Feng Xiaoting nodding in unmarked from close range to set up a tight finish.

Guangzhou finished the season six points clear of Andre Villas-Boas’s Shanghai SIPG in second.

Tianjin jumped into third over Hebei after Manuel Pellegrini’s side went down 5-4 in a thriller away at Shandong Luneng.

Ezequiel Lavezzi, the Argentine striker, scored a hat-trick for Hebei, but so did Shandong’s Diego Tardelli.

The Brazilian international’s third, a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time, was the winner.

SIPG, who will contest the FA Cup final against local rivals Shanghai Shenhua over two legs this month, finished second despite losing 3-2 at home to Fabio Capello’s Jiangsu Suning.


Diversification Of Nigeria’s Economy Now A Matter Of Urgency – Buhari

diversificationPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Guangzhou, China, said that his administration would take urgent steps to ensure the diversification of Nigeria’s economy by encouraging new investments in mining, agriculture and manufacturing.

Speaking at a reception in his honour by the Communist Party of China, President Buhari said that Nigeria would welcome the support of the Chinese government, foreign investors and local businesses for efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.

The President noted that the diversification of the Nigerian economy was long overdue as continued reliance on crude oil exports had always made the economy vulnerable to shocks.

‘‘This time we will be more deliberate. The government and businesses will be involved,” President Buhari said.

In his remarks, the Secretary of the Communist Party, who is also the Governor of the Guangdong Province, Mr Hu Chinhua, pledged that the region will support the implementation of all the bilateral agreements reached with the Chinese government during President Buhari’s visit.

President Buhari also visited the Sino-Singapore Knowledge City in Guangzhou, which showcases advancements by China in medical, science and technological inventions.

China to probe death of Nigerian in Guangzhou

China has pledged to investigate the death of a Nigerian man, who died while in police custody in the southern city of Guangzhou.

The 28-year-old man, who was identified by Chinese state media as Elebechi Celestine, was detained after fighting with the driver of an electric bicycle over disputed fare, on Monday .

He died after being taken to the police station, sparking a protest by over 100 Africans, a day after the incident.

Some internet postings alleged that Celestine had been beaten by a crowd of Chinese onlookers.

“We will investigate the case in accordance with the law as soon as possible and provide relevant information to the Nigerian side,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a regular news briefing on Thursday.

Officials of Guangdong province, had already communicated with the Nigerian embassy about the death and diplomats had confirmed the nationality of the victim, he said.

He gave no details about the possible cause of death.

The official China Daily quoted Nigerian embassy spokesman Ademola Oladele as saying: “We hope to see an independent autopsy report.

“We hope the incident can be appropriately addressed so it will not affect the current excellent relations between Nigeria and China.”

The Nigerian embassy in China had on Wednesday, asked Chinese authorities to investigate allegations that police in the city of Guangzhou used “high-handed” tactics in arresting the  Nigerian citizen who later died in custody.

Guangzhou Murder: Nigeria charges China to investigate death of Nigerian

The Nigerian embassy in China has asked Chinese authorities to investigate allegations that police in the southern city of Guangzhou used “high-handed” tactics in arresting a Nigerian citizen who later died in custody.

Africans protest in Guangzhou over Elebechi’s death

Witnesses say Celestine Elebechi, born in 1984, fell into a coma after he was beaten on June 18 as he intervened in a dispute between a Chinese motorcycle driver and another Nigerian, Ademola Oladele.

Hundreds of Africans in Guangzhou on Tuesday, blocked traffic and surrounded the police station to protest Elebechi’s death and demand an investigation.

Guangzhou’s public security bureau said China is investigating the death of a foreigner in police custody “according to the law” but did not say the nationality of the victim involved.

According to the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, the dead African man, “suddenly fell unconscious” at a police station on Monday afternoon “and died after medical efforts failed”, it reported, citing police.

The Africans protest comes ahead of a summit between China and Africa that China is expected to host in July, and amid a crackdown by Beijing and Shanghai on “illegal foreigners”.

Channels Television recently exposed how unfairly about 6,000 Nigerians are lounging in Chinese prisons in a special documentary, Jailed in China.

Beijing recently launched a 100-day campaign to “clean out” foreigners living or working illegally in the city and has stepped up police checks on expatriates.

The Xinhua report said police have launched an investigation into the death and that “police in Guangzhou have called for foreigners to abide by Chinese law and refrain from disturbing public order”.