Chinese Coach Tells Team to ‘Swim Back to China’ After Losing to Qatar in Asian Cup
The Chinese team lost 0-1 to the host country Qatar in the final match of Group A held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on the 22nd (local time). Prior to this, the Chinese team drew 0-0 with both the Tajikistan team and the Lebanon team. After losing to Qatar, they finished the group stage with two draws and one loss, placing third in their group.
This is the first time in 48 years since 1976 that the Chinese team has not won a single match in the group stage of the Asian Cup. Moreover, this is the first time that the Chinese team did not score a single goal in the group stage.
Chinese media Sohu.com criticized on the 24th, “A shameful history has been made. This is the first time the Chinese team, which has participated in the Asian Cup 13 times, finished the group stage without scoring a single point. It can only be described as ‘the worst ever.'”
China’s Sina Sports also reported on the 24th, “Aleksandar Jankovic, the coach of the Chinese soccer team, who has been carefully selected and given the baton by the Chinese Football Association, has dragged Chinese football down from third-rate to fourth-rate in Asia.” In related articles, comments filled with criticism from fans such as “All players should swim back”, “0 goals in 270 minutes over 3 games”, “It’s embarrassing to fly back”, “Don’t waste the cost of plane tickets”, “Swimming back would improve their cardio function” was posted.
After the match against Qatar, Coach Jankovic said at the press conference, “The lack of points in the group stage and the competitiveness of the Chinese team are unrelated. The Chinese team simply missed a few opportunities. They were just unlucky and any country can experience a similar situation.”
He added, “All commanders in this world can be divided into ‘fired coaches’ and ‘coaches to be fired.’ If you are afraid of quitting, you cannot be a coach.”
Meanwhile, the Korean team led by Son Heung-min (Tottenham) will play their final group stage match against the Malaysian team at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on the 25th.