The Chinese National Team have boycotted the 2017 ITTF World Tour China Open to support their coach Liu GuoliangPhoto: ITTF
Timeline of Events by ITTF
Follow the breaking story surrounding Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour China Open.
Tuesday 20th June
Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) announce coaching restructure of national team. Head Coach Liu Guoliang is promoted to Vice President of CTTA.
Thursday 22nd June
Day One of the Seamaster 2017 China Open in Chengdu.
Friday 23rd June
14:40 Men’s Doubles matches commence on Day Two of Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour China Open. Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin compete and win their quarter-final doubles match.
16:00 Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin compete and lose their semi-final match in the Men’s Doubles event.
19:00 Players and coaches from China’s men’s team post to their Weibo accounts: “At this moment we have no desire to fight……all because we miss you Liu Guoliang!”
19:40 Ma Long does not show for his second round Men’s Singles match. No contact can be made with Ma Long to determine his whereabouts. The crowd at the China Open begin chanting Liu Guoliang’s name.
20:25 Fan Zhendong does not show for his second round Men’s Singles match.
21:10 Xu Xin does not show for his second round Men’s Singles match. Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin can not be contacted via their phones and have left the official hotel.
22:00 Liu Guoliang is the top trending sport’s hashtag on Chinese social media.
22:30 Players’ and coaches’ previous Weibo posts removed.
23:00 Chinese Sports Administration release a statement condemning the actions of the athletes and coaches, calling upon CTTA to investigate and deal with the incident severely.
The ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT : “The ITTF is very disappointed"
The ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT stated on the matter: “The ITTF is very disappointed that the three best players in the world have forfeited their matches at such a big event. We will be working with our friends at CTTA to investigate this serious matter to work out our course of action. In the meantime, we still have world class players competing in the competition, and it will be a great last two days of the China Open.”
A statement from the Chinese Sports Administration:
“During the 2017 ITTF World Tour China Open in Chengdu, 2 coaches and 3 athletes from the Chinese Table Tennis national team forfeited the competition without permission, resulting in very negative social influences.
The General Administration of Sports of China’s news spokesperson states that, the act of forfeiting without authorisation and leaving without notice during a major international tournament shows no regard for neither the athlete’s ethical code & code of conduct, nor for the interest and glory of the country, it is also disrespectful to the opponent and the spectators. This kind of behaviour is wrong and we are strongly against it.
We require the sports teams & athletes to be always put patriotism & collectivism as the first priority at all times, having a strong ideology, strict discipline and sports level is equally important. The General Administration of Sports of China has tasked the Chinese Table Tennis Association to investigate the incident and deal with the incident severely.”