Soccer-Shanghai players detained after restaurant attack

BEIJING, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Two Shanghai Shenhua players have been detained by police for beating up a man in a restaurant a few hours after missing out on the Chinese Super League (CSL) title at the weekend, local media reported.

Former China winger Mao Jianqing and his Shanghai Shenhua team mate Liu Yintao were detained for seven and five days respectively for their part in the attack, according to the Shanghai-based Oriental Sports Daily.

Shanghai would have won the league on goal difference had they held on to a 2-1 lead over Zhejiang in the last round of matches on Sunday, but a late equaliser handed Shandong the title.

Mao and Liu went with friends to a 24-hour restaurant in the early hours of Monday morning, the report said.

Xu Jianping, a diner at the restaurant, greeted a woman accompanying the players and was beaten up, the report added.

Another member of the group, former China basketball international and NBA prospect Xu Yong, was released by police because of health concerns. Xu retired this year after being diagnosed as having bone cancer.

Several Chinese football players have been involved in violent crimes over the last couple of years. Former China youth international Wen Junwu was sentenced to death with two years’ reprieve for killing a man over gambling debts last week.

Two Xiamen players were stabbed by a taxi driver, a former international striker was attacked in Shenzhen and a Dalian midfielder was stabbed and wounded on his way to visit his father.

Reporting by Yu Le; Editing by Nick Mulvenney and Ed Osmond