Half an hour into the match on 22 March, verbal sparks flew between Sichuan FC's 22-year-old Zhang Hua, a former Beijing Guoan FC player, and Sheffield's Li Gang, over rough play while trying to gain possession. The sparring became physical, with one player from each side joining in.
Both teams were clearly distracted from playing the match. When the game ended with Sheffield winning 3-0 on home ground, players from both teams taunted each other before a bigger fight took place.
Most netizens are embarrassed about the players' behaviour. UglyGuy88 even attributed the failure of Chinese football in breaking out of Asia to such immaturity.
Another netizen, Dreams Blossom, said the fights were "excellent" as he is already sick of Chinese football and does not see why so many resources are devoted to nurturing professionals in that area. However, he reminisces about the brilliance of Sichuan-born Ma Mingyu, current vice president of Sheffield, who once helmed the national football team, and Yao Xia, a national footballer who quitted professionally this year, naming them alongside Kaka and Ronaldo.
More than a year ago, Sheffield's fans used stones and bricks to smash a bus of rival Chongqing Lifan's fans outside the Chengdu Stadium, after Sheffield were thrashed 3-2.