Demba Ba Confronts Racist Abuse From Fellow Footballer In China

The former Newcastle United and Chelsea striker was then booked by the referee.

The Chinese Super League was home to some despicable scenes yesterday as Shanghai Shenhua striker Demba Ba was reportedly subject to racist abuse from Changchun Yatai midfielder Zhang Li. The former Newcastle United and Chelsea striker could be seen confronting Li in the 77th minute while Yatai striker Odion Ighalo — who spent three seasons in England with Watford — restrained him.

It all started with an extremely innocuous foul called on Ba. Play continued briefly, but the referee was forced to halt the match with Ba and Li going toe-to-toe and the training staffs of both sides getting involved. 

Both Li and Ba were booked by the referee.

In a club statement issued after the match, Shenhua said: “Demba Ba is offended by racism wordings from Changchun Yatai player Zhang Li. CFA should take serious disciplinary actions!!” 

Shenhua manager Wu Jingui echoed those sentiments by saying, “The Chinese Super League has players of many different skin colors. We should respect our opponents and there should be no discrimination. I cannot calm down now. I feel great regret about the lack of respect to a player.”

Ba’s former club Besiktas also lent its support over Twitter:

According to the Chronicle, Zhang repeatedly shouted “you black” at Ba. 

The 33-year-old striker has achieved massive success in his playing career throughout stints with 1899 Hoffenheim, West Ham, Newcastle, Chelsea, Besiktas and Goztepe. 

He signed with Shanghai Shenhua back in 2015 and was an instant success in the CSL. During the 2016 season, Ba scored 14 goals in 18 matches before suffering a horrific leg break which was thought to be career threatening. However, the former Senegal international made a triumphant return to the pitch, including a brief stint back in Turkey with Goztepe. 

He rejoined Shanghai back in June and has scored two goals in five matches this season. 

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