CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China Football: Jiang Zhipeng Gets Tough Welcome on Chinese Super League Return

China PR defender Jiang Zhipeng

(Photo : Getty Images) Jiang Zhipeng gets tough welcome from home fans during CSL return.

China PR left-back Jiang Zhipeng was given a tough welcome by fans during his return game with Chinese Super League squad Guangzhou R&F FC last Saturday.

Jiang, who turned 28 earlier this month, recently made headlines for negative reasons after his wife, Zhang Zhiyue, accused him of cheating with his alleged mistress Xiao Bing. Zhang has called on the Chinese Football Association to ban Jiang from the national team while also asking R&F to ban him from playing for the club this season.

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Jiang wife's public tirade angered Guangzhou R&F's loyal fans and supporters. But the player has denied the allegations.

The controversy adds to the reputation damage caused by Jiang's error during China's 0-1 loss to Iran during the 2018 World Cup qualifiers last week. Some people are claiming that Jiang was over-sexed that is why he made the crucial mistake during the Iran match, which could cost China its World Cup dreams next year, according to the Malaysia Chronicle.

Despite R&F defeating Yanbian Funde, 1-0, on the road at the Yanji Nationwide Fitness Centre Stadium on Saturday, Jiang was booed by fans throughout his time on the pitch after replacing Zhang Chenlong in the 46th minute, the South China Morning Post reported. Israeli forward Eran Zahavi was able to net the winning goal in the 74th minute despite the jeers from the crowd.

Jiang told reporters during the post-match press conference that he "didn't expect to endure the pressure again" now that he is back with his local first division team. However, fans seem to be upset by his latest China PR stint which virtually doomed the country's quest to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year.

"I was taking pressure with the national team while players went on holidays. I didn't expect to endure the pressure again after coming back. I can do nothing but tell myself to relax, to enjoy the game," Jiang said. "My job is a professional player. I came here to show my ability on the field and I enjoyed the game today even though the home fans booed me every time I touched the ball. I still managed to adjust my mentality by telling myself it's no big deal."

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