Thursday Oct 15, 2020
Manchester City's sister club in China fined its head coach a month's worth of wages and suspended him after he stated that the team´s blue away kit brought more luck rather than its traditional yellow.
Relegation-threatened Sichuan Jiuniu in China´s second division punished Li Yi after he said the team seemed to struggle in its traditional yellow shirt.
"We wore blue for the last game, and won. Sometimes luck is really important," he added.
Sichuan, who have won only once in 10 games this season, took a dim view of the perceived slight.
Yellow has long been associated with football in the southwestern province, a tradition going back to the 1990s, state media said.
The club, one of 10 teams worldwide in the growing City Football Group (CFG), accused Li on Wednesday of "hurting the feelings of Sichuan fans".
"The club have decided to punish Li Yi, deducting one month´s salary and suspending his employment for a week."
Li was also ordered to study the "glorious history" of football in Sichuan and learn why yellow was so important.
The club became part of the CFG stable in February 2019 with chief executive Ferran Soriano vowing to "grow and develop Sichuan Jiuniu FC and to nurture Chinese footballing talent".