The heated clash between host Shanghai SIPG and arch rivals Tianjin Quanjian has been escalated off the field following a bad-tempered draw in the Chinese Super League on Sunday.
The brawl ignited in the first half when a member of the Tianjin coaching staff positioned a towel on the sidelines for South Korean midfielder Kwon Kyung-won to use to dry the ball before a throw-in.
However, a ball boy from the home team SIPG removed it, which lead to a heated exchange between the two teams and the referee had to send a Quanjian official to the stands.
At the end of the match, a number of Tianjin players and officials took a group photo to show their discontent over the incident, while their fans briefly scuffled outside Shanghai Stadium.
As reported by Chinese news site china.org.cn, Tianjin has published a statement on their official Weibo social media, in which the club demanded the implementation in the action of Shanghai’s supporters.
“We condemn any form of soccer hooliganism under any circumstances, location or reason,” Tianjin said in the statement.
“We hope that all teams and fans on the away side can fully enjoy and shout their support and safely return home.”
The post accompanied a picture of Shanghai fans and one of their banners reading: “Viewing with virtue, shouting with technique, wild with restraint,” in which Tianjin said pointedly slogans “should be implemented in action”.
In response SIPG urged its fans to behave “in a civilized manner”.
“As a football team in Shanghai we constantly keep in mind that our words and deeds should be worthy of the glory of the city,” the club said on its official Weibo account.