England coach to face inquiry into dissent

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The Independent Online
Table tennis

Chen Xinhua, the England No 2, faces a European Table Tennis Union inquiry into his alleged dissent at an Olympic qualifying event in Manchester.

The Rotherham-based player refused to leave the courtside on Sunday after being shown the red card. The ETTU has only just received a report on Chen's actions, who apparently then removed the umpire's glasses in a gesture of protest.

The amazing scenes came at the European Olympic qualifying tournament, at which Chen was acting as an England coach. He was dismissed from the court for coaching audibly when play was in progress during England No 1 Matthew Syed's crucial game with Zoltan Batorfi.

The Hungarian No 2, who won the tense two-hour game - as well as a place in Atlanta - will also be a subject of the inquiry in Belgium on 2 February after allegedly abusing the umpire and making a rude gesture to the 700 supporters at the event.

Jeany Dom, general secretary of the ETTU, said yesterday: "It is very unusual to get a report of this nature. We shall consider the matter on 2 February, but we have no powers to suspend players, this is normally done by their own associations."

Neither England or Hungary are expected to penalise their players. There was also good news for Syed, as he is top of the list to get a wild card to Atlanta. The International Table Tennis Federation have powers to award four late invitations.