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Shanghai Shenhua Players May Boycott Soccer Game, Herald Says

Shanghai Shenhua, the Chinese soccer team that signed Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, may see its players boycott an upcoming match because of a dispute over unpaid wages, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported today, without citing anyone.

Players including Anelka boycotted a practice on Oct. 15 by walking in street clothes around a track encircling the field instead of training, the newspaper reported. Some players said they won’t rule out boycotting Shenhua’s next match in the Chinese Super League if they still aren’t paid, the report said.

The dispute comes as Shanghai Shenhua Chairman Zhu Jun’s bid to become the club’s controlling shareholder has met with opposition from other shareholders, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported. Shenhua is facing “difficulties” because “some relationships” are not clear, the newspaper cited an unidentified team official as saying when asked why player wages haven’t been paid.

Zhu, the founder and chairman of online game developer The9 Ltd., has asked other shareholders to meet with him to discuss his intentions, according to the newspaper. It’s possible that Zhu may cut his investment in the club, according to the report.

In an interview with the official Xinhua News Agency, Sui Guoyang, chairman of Shanghai’s soccer association, said Zhu need greater “coordination and communication” with the club’s other five shareholders.

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