The 2021 Chinese Super League in in the final Rounds of its competition. Socceroo Aaron Mooy's recent contribution has kept his club in AFC Champions League contention. Elsewhere in Chinese football news, the national teams have put a ban on tattoos.
The Chinese Super League only has two Rounds left this season. In the 2021 Championship play-offs, Shandong Luneng have already won the 2021 campaign, clear at the top of the ladder with eight points separating them from the second and Socceroo Aaron Mooy's third placed team.
2021 Chinese Super League
- Shandong Luneng have won this year's Championships with two rounds at hand.
- Three teams are vying for the remaining two AFC Champions League positions including Mooy's Shanghai Port.
- The Chinese 2021 season ends next Saturday with the Chinese FA Cup between Shandong Luneng and Shanghai Port.
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Leaders Shandong next meet Aaron Mooy's Shanghai Port in Round 21 of the competition. Shanghai are equal in points to second placed Ghangzhou FC, third due to goal difference and three points ahead of fourth placed Changchun Yatai. At present, this places them in the last AFC Champions League qualifiers spot.
It was Mooy's brace this past round that assured Shanghai this current points cushion ahead of their meet with Shandong. In their Round 20 match against Ghangzhou R&F, the Socceroo found the back of the net in the 13th and 45th minute respectively.
He opened his scoring account by putting in a deflection from Ghangzhou R&F's keeper Jiaqi Han's stop. However, it was his second goal that was the showstopper.
Running in from the righthand side, Mooy took a shot from just outside the box that entered the goal top-corner. While Ghangzhou did score once, the brace was enough to give Shanghai a 2-1 win and the three points.
What a strike! Aaron Mooy hit an absolute stunner in his brace for Shanghai Port as they claimed a much-needed win. âš½🔥🇦🇺— SBS - The World Game (@TheWorldGame) December 31, 2021
Catch up with all the best action from Round 20 of the CSL with extended highlights on @SBSOnDemand
WATCH: https://t.co/Zb4mxfEDPD pic.twitter.com/fxqIk3YeRR
Shanghai could still move ahead into an AFC Champions League Group Stage position, but this would be dependent on their performances against champions Shandong and second place Guangzhou in the final rounds.
Both games take place this week, with the Chinese FA Cup taking place next Saturday. Mooy's Shanghai Port have qualified for the game and will face current champions Shandong Taishan.
Chinese National Teams Tattoo Ban
The General Administration of Sport of China issued a statement this week which was titled: "Suggestions for strengthening the management of football players." These suggestions included disciplinary actions for national team players to be set out by the Chinese Football Association.
According to Reuters' translation, the statement said:
"National teams at all levels will strictly implement the relevant requirements of the management measures ... (and) fully demonstrate the positive spirit of Chinese football players and set a good example for society.
"The national team and the U23 national team athletes are strictly prohibited from having new tattoos, and those who already have tattoos are advised to remove them themselves.
"If there are special circumstances agreed by the team, (players) must cover up the tattoos during training and matches."
The suggestions also said that national teams should organise "ideological and political education activities" that would "strengthen the patriotic education" of players to "enhance the sense of mission, responsibility and honour, and create a national team capable of conquering and fighting well and with excellent style of play."
Regulations have been in place since 2018 to prevent players from showing tattoos on television, with some being forced to wear long-sleeved shirts to hide existing ones. It now appears that removing them altogether is the new preferred option.
The Chinese Communist Party has a dislike for tattoos, associated in China as a mark of criminality.
Chinese Super League highlight are on SBS On Demand.