December 22, 2017 / 4:37 PM / a month ago

Germany, China end Under-20 series following Tibet protest

BERLIN (Reuters) - China’s Under-20 team will play no more regional league matches in Germany after one game was interrupted with protesters waving Tibetan flags, the German Football Association (DFB) said on Friday.

“The German Football Association and the Chinese Football Federation have agreed, following talks, not to continue the series of friendly matches of the Chinese Under-20 team with teams of the south-west regional division,” the DFB said in a statement.

The series of games was initially postponed on Nov. 24 following protests in the stands in a match at TSV Schott Mainz.

A small group of spectators unfurled Tibetan flags forcing the Chinese team to walk off the pitch briefly.

China took control of Tibet in 1950 in what it calls a “peaceful liberation” and strongly denies accusations of rights abuses.

The friendly matches were part of a five-year cooperation agreement signed by the two countries last year.

The agreement was intended to help China boost its level of football and give the German FA easier access to the vast Asian market.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Toby Davis

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