The Chinese Football Association has opened an investigation after Shanghai Shenhua striker Demba Ba complained he was racially insulted by a player during his side’s league encounter with CC Yakai during the weekend.
An altercation broke out between the 33-year-old former Senegal international and a Chinese player Zhang Li by the 76th minute of the said game but was later quelled by the referee.
“The Chinese Football Association has opened an investigation into the incident involving Demba Ba and Zhang Li,” the body said in a statement late Monday.
“If the accusations are true, there will be severe sanctions in accordance with our rules and regulations.
“We strongly oppose all forms of racist behaviour in our league.”
Shanghai Shenhua coach Wu Jingui confirmed the incident during his post match conference on Saturday and vowed to file an official complaint on behalf of the player.
Ba has been posting tweets condemning racism in football and calling for sanctions against Li but did not state the exact words used by the player.
Ba, a former West Ham United, Newcastle United and Chelsea player, joined Shenhua in 2015, but has been sent on loan twice to Turkish clubs Besiktas and Goztepe.
He returned to Hongkou Football Stadium in June 2018.