Last updated : 20 August 2004 By editor

The Guardian report:

‘Chinese police are to investigate violence by Chinese soccer fans after the national team lost the Asian Cup final to Japan, Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

‘Resentment of Japan's wartime aggression runs deep among many Chinese and fans had jeered Japan's national side, the defending champions, throughout the tournament.

‘After Japan's 3-1 win over China on Aug. 7, hundreds of Chinese fans confronted riot police for several hours outside the Beijing stadium, throwing bottles and shouting obscenities.

‘The crowd burned Japanese flags and called for boycotts of Japanese goods before being dispersed by riot police.

‘"Certain unruly acts by Chinese soccer fans in Beijing after the Asian Cup final are being investigated by the local police," Xinhua said.

‘"Mobbing and vandalism are strictly prohibited by Chinese law," Xinhua quoted Hao Chiyong, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, as saying.

‘"Police will mete out penalties to those responsible in accordance with the law."’