Beijing, China | AFP | The wife of a Chinese player gave her husband a red card Wednesday for playing away, claiming that spending too much time with his mistress led to his embarrassing gaffe in a crucial World Cup qualifier.
Jiang Zhipeng, a Guangzhou R&F club left-back, had a disastrous performance in Tehran against Iran Tuesday, where his header sent the ball to the opposing team, setting them up for the only point of the game.
Chinese newspapers called the 1-0 match, a FIFA World Cup Asian qualifier, a “nightmare” showing for the national side.
Angry fans found a scapegoat, when Jiang’s wife revealed on social media that he had recently filed for divorce.
“For nearly three-and-a-half years out of our four-year marriage, he was sleeping with other women and now he is trying to drive me to an early grave,” Zhang Zhiyue wrote.
She posted photos of Jiang snuggling with his alleged mistress, and begged the Chinese football association and the sports bureau of Guangdong province to “expel” him from professional football.
Many fans agreed: “His character is horrible. Kick him out of national football,” one commenter wrote.
Chinese soccer authorities have not commented on the allegations.
The disgraced 28-year-old made his debut for the national team in 2013 and has been a popular player for the Guangzhou Chinese Super League club since 2014.