Chinese Wonderkid Zhang Xiuwei Banned For Nine Months For Falsifying His Age


he quality and confidence he showed on the pitch with Tianjin Quanjian last season made Zhang Xuiwei one of the stars of Chinese football, but his reputation has been tarnished after being found guilty of lying about his age.

He arrived at the club after spending two seasons in the youth system of Lyon, returning to his homeland after Fabio Cannavaro took over Tianjin following Vanderlei Luxemburgo's departure.
The Italian tactician relied heavily upon Xuiwei and it worked as the side achieved promotion, before he continued to dazzle with his performances in the top flight.
That was until an incident last year when he was involved in a car accedent and the resulting investigation found that the player had lied about his age.
In August last year, two-thirds of the way through the season, he was a regular in the Tianjin Quanjian team and had only missed four of 21 games.
His performances didn't go unnoticed as he became one of the revelations of the season and was discussed as one of the most exciting prospects the country had to offer.
With the team fighting near the top of the table and contesting the race for AFC Champions League football next year, and Xiuwei continuing to impress after completing three full games in succession, the turning point arrived.
On August 16, he crashed his Porsche 901 in the streets of Tianjin, colliding with six other vehicles after attempting to drive in a drunken state.
According to his professional record, Zhang Xiuwei was born on January 13, 1996 in Tianjin, which allowed him to play last season in the Chinese Super League as an under-23 player.
However, at an early age, due to his parents' wishes, they falsified his identity card by changing his name to Zhang Jixuan and changing his birthday, which was then listed as January 13, 1994.
This even led to Zhang entering primary school before the permitted age and the problems began to arise when he was a teenager and his footballing talents became clear to see.
It was at that point that his parents attempted to 'rejuvenate' their son again and they changed his date of birth to 1996, while also returning his original name.
Within the Chinese Football Federation, there are records of a Zhang Jixuan, who was born in 1994.
In the course of the investigation as a result of his car crash, the parallel life of Zhang Xiuwei came to light.
In addition to his punishment from the driving authorities for that incident, the CFA also took an interest in the affair.
After months of carefully studying the situation in depth, they have opted to issue a formal suspension to the player, which will keep him off the field until the resumption of the Chinese Super League after the 2018 World Cup.
It is hoped that the lengthy ban will serve as a warning and deterrent to anyone who wishes to attempt a similar stunt in the future.
Chinese football must now wait to enjoy one of their big talents again, as a few fateful drinks on a night out led to much more than a bitter taste in the mouth for Xiuwei.

Jefferson Obuseri

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