Nicolas Anelka’s refusal to bow causes fan spat

Shanghai Shenhua's Nicholas Anelka playing for France
Anelka: Not Bowing (Image: Rani777)

Former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka hasn’t had a great time of it since moving to China. Now playing for Shanghai Shenhua, he’s scored just twice in twelve matches and has already seen a change in management since joining the side in January.

It is tradition in Chinese football for the players to bow to the fans at the end of a game, in order to show their gratitude for the attendance. But, following a shock loss to bottom-of-the-table side Qingdao Jonoon, the executive journeyman refused to partake in the custom.

Later a fan, who the Mirror claim had made the 350 mile journey from Shanghai to be there, managed to gain access to the lobby of the hotel where the Shenhua players were staying and was able to shout to the star:

Why don’t you bow with the rest of the team?

… before being ‘escorted’ from the building by security staff who were assisted by some of the player’s team-mates.

Undeterred however, the same fan appeared again as the team were boarding the bus home. Anelka approached the supporter and was heard to say:

If you want to have a talk. Stand here now.

The conversation continued. Fan:

I took time off work and paid for flight tickets and a hotel to come to support you all, but you did what?


Why me? Why don’t you find a Chinese player?


Because you are the captain and you should be responsible for this – if you don’t respect us, we don’t respect you.


I don’t care.

Damning stuff.

If reports are anything to go by, it is also an issue of some contention that Anelka left the field as quickly as possible after the game and did not shake hands with any of the opposing Qingdao players.

The Chinese people seem split over the issue however and many supporters seem more concerned with the skipper’s lack of form since arriving at the club. Perhaps the arrival of Didier Drogba will cheer them up!