BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Six players of China's U19 men's national team have been suspended for six months after violating the team's epidemic control regulations, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced on Saturday.
The U19 team had called up a 35-player training camp in Shanghai behind closed doors from May 17 to June 6. The six youngsters: Tao Qianglong, Liu Zhurun, Peng Hao, Ren Lihao, Han Dong and He Longhai left the team's training base without approval and went out drinking at midnight, May 30.
"It was a severe violation of the team's epidemic control regulations, and caused negative impacts on the whole team," noted the Chinese football governing body, saying the six players will be banned from all matches organized by the CFA from June 1 to November 30 this year.
The CFA also said the six players will not be allowed to join national teams at all levels in China, and they will face further punishment from respective clubs.
Among the six players, Liu Zhurun, Peng Hao, Ren Lihao are the youth players of Shanghai SIPG, while Tao Qianglong, Han Dong and He Longhai come from Dalian Pro, Henan Jianye and Shonan Bellmare in Japan respectively.
"They all realized the seriousness of the situation. It is a loss to the team, and of course, it will have greater effects on players themselves," said the team head coach Cheng Yaodong." The U-19 national team and their clubs, we all have responsibilities for their education. It is worthy of our deep reflection."
According to the CFA president Chen Xuyuan, the U19 national team will participate in the country's third-tier professional league in the new season, with an aim to provide more high-quality competition for young talent and prepare for 2024 Pairs Olympics in advance.