BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese fan enraged by two quick red cards shown to the Qingdao Chinese Super League club at the weekend registered his annoyance by launching a karate kick at the referee and shoving a linesman.
The incident dealt another blow to the image of Chinese soccer, which is widely considered to be corrupt and riven with violence both on and off the pitch.
Slovenian forward Aleksander Rodic was the first Qingdao player given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow card for diving in the 67th minute of the 2-0 loss to Shanghai Shenhua on Sunday.
Croatian midfielder Stjepan Jukic followed him for an early shower three minutes later after being shown a straight red card for a nasty foul.
The tackle sparked a melee during which the unidentified man raced onto the pitch and attacked the two officials, Chinese media reported on Monday.
Yu Tao, general manager of the Qingdao club, denied that the man, who was wearing branded shorts and trainers, was a club employee.
“The man was definitely not on the staff of our club. He was just an emotional fan,” he told the Xinhua news agency. “The referee failed to control the game well -- perhaps he was too young.”
Around 100 Qingdao fans smashed up a car they believed belonged to referee Wang Zhe after the match, Xinhua reported.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Alastair Himmer