China FA asks Henan Jianye “to focus on goals, not gods”

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has told Super League side Henan Jianye to focus on the football rather than performing the ritual on gods.

The CFA is investigating after Henan Jianye fans invited 15 Taoist priests onto the pitch to pray for a good result in Sunday’s match against Shandong Luneng, which Henan went on to win 2-1.

“The football pitch is not a religious place and hosting such activities on a public sports field is neither appropriate nor conforming to the image of professional football,” the CFA said in a statement.

“Instead of asking for help from gods outside the pitch, Henan should seek victory through self-endeavor and battle on it.”

But the club added in the statement: “Victory can’t be gained through prayers.”