Capello-Cannavaro clash upstaged by boy band

AFP
Chinese soccer fans anticipating the first clash between the "Fabios" — Italian coaches Cannavaro and Capello — will have to wait as their sides have been upstaged by a boy band.
AFP
Imaginechina

Head coach Fabio Cannavaro of Tianjin Quanjian reacts as he watches his players compete against Henan Jianye during their Chinese Super League match in Zhengzhou City, central China's Henan Province, in this July 23, 2017, photo.

Chinese football fans anticipating the first clash between the "Fabios" — Italian heavyweight coaches Cannavaro and Capello — will have to wait as their sides have been bumped from a stadium this weekend by China's hottest boy band.

The Tianjin-Jiangsu clash was scheduled for Sunday at the stadium on the grounds of the Olympic Sports Center in the eastern city of Nanjing — Jiangsu Suning's home pitch — but it now conflicts with a concert in an adjacent indoor arena by the wildly popular TFBOYS.

The Chinese Football Association said on Tuesday that the game would be postponed until September 28 for "security" reasons.

A separate statement by the Chinese Super League's official broadcaster, China Sports Media, said the Nanjing sports complex would be unable to provide adequate security for both events on the same day.

The CSL match had been scheduled months ago. It was not immediately clear how the scheduling snafu occurred.

The TFBOYS, whose name stands for "The Fighting Boys", have won millions of passionate female Chinese fans with their schoolboy looks and bubblegum dance pop.

The band's three teenage members had announced last month that they would hold concerts in Nanjing this Friday and Sunday to mark the fourth anniversary since they formed.

Both shows have been sold out, with tickets going for as much as 1,880 yuan (US$280), according to the website of Yongle, the concerts' designated ticket vendor.

Cannavaro, Italy's World Cup-winning captain in 2006, has led Tianjin Quanjian to a current third place in the CSL, behind defending champion Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG.

Capello, a former England, Real Madrid and Russia manager, was hired in June to revive the fortunes of struggling Jiangsu Suning.

But his side is still near the bottom of the table despite possessing talent like Brazilian duo Ramires and Alex Teixeira.

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