The Chinese FA said Thursday it will bring in foreign referees to
officiate selected Super League games starting this weekend and
later introduce the use of video replay in response to recent
Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson will oversee Saturday's game
between Tianjin Quanjian and Shandong Luneng, accompanied by
another two Swedish assistants, the Chinese Football Association
said on its website.
French referee Tony Chapron will officiate a Sunday game between
Shanghai Shenhua and Tianjin Teda.
The CFA will invite "high-level European and American" referee
teams to judge key matches to "help finish the league smoothly,"
the statement said.
The league also will bring in additional video referees on a
trial basis near the close of the current season next month and
will officially introduce the practice next year, it added.
Chinese football has a history of controversy involving referees
and in 2009 launched a high-profile crackdown on match-fixing and
other corruption in the sport that led to dozens of arrests and
The two Tianjin clubs triggered an FA investigation after
relegation-threatened Teda stunned Fabio Cannavaro's heavily
favoured Quanjian 4-1 last month.
Four match officials were beaten up after a second-tier league
match in July after the referee ordered extra injury time and a
debatable penalty that turned the game into a draw.
CFA vice president Zhang Jian had admitted in August that "there
were rather big controversies with the referees' decisions in
Foreign officials have previously been employed in the past but
that was stopped beginning last year in a bid to cultivate the
league's own domestic refereeing corps.
However, the latest CFA statement indicated a reversal of that
"To improve the abilities of referees is a main part of the
Chinese FA?s job. Inviting high-level foreign referees will help
further improve referee accuracy in key matches and provide
domestic referees with opportunities for learning and exchange,"