What are the repercussions for a home crowd in which dozens of men jump from the stands to assault a referee? We suspected the punishment would be severe, and now we know exactly how severe. The WCBA has ruled that Zhejiang’s professional women’s basketball team, the Golden Bulls, will not be allowed to play in its home city of Yiwu for a full year.
We see the assault of the referees in the above video (we have another view embedded in the link above), but what we didn’t know was that the rabble surrounded the refs’ locker room and wouldn’t let them out for 40 minutes. Reports Shanghai Daily:
At the final whistle, a few irate fans rushed towards assistant referee Yang Xiaoguang and started pushing him, which soon turned into a melee with chief referee Cui Zhexiong also targeted. The referees managed to escape with the help of security guards and were stuck in the locker room for 40 minutes.
Zhejiang had suffered its first home loss of the season, 96-92, so we understand why fans were angry. But violence toward refs — or anyone, for that matter — is a terrible outlet.
And anyway, you win some, you lose some. Case in point: in last night’s game, Zhejiang won 99-88 — on the road — behind Liz Cambage’s 45 points and 17 rebounds. The best-of-five series is all evened up at one game apiece.
This means that there will definitely be a Game 4, scheduled to be played in Zhejiang. This also means that the Golden Bulls must find an alternate venue before Monday, subject to WCBA approval. Will the rowdies be willing to travel to see their favorite women’s basketball team? And how far? We’ll find out soon.
(Video on Sina for those in China without a VPN.)