Hulk denies punching rival coach in heated Super League clash

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The Brazilian striker's goal was overshadowed by a fracas at half-time, during which he was accused of assaulting Yu Ming in the tunnel

Shanghai SIPG's Brazilian star Hulk has denied punching Guizhou Zhicheng's assistant coach during a heated Chinese Super League clash on Saturday. 

The former Zenit St. Petersburg striker was on target as SIPG eased to a 3-0 victory at the weekend. 

But he made the headlines for a different reason after the game, after he was accused by outgoing Guizhou boss Li Bing of striking his assistant, Yu Ming, during half-time. 

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Responding to the claims, Hulk insisted that he had not behaved violently and asserted that Bing was trying to tarnish his reputation.

“Unfortunately [Guizhou Zhicheng] are trying to abuse my image. The coach of the opposing team is accusing me of aggression. Where did he see it?" he wrote on Chinese social media network Weibo.

“I didn't behave violently in any way! I have a clear conscience. God knows it. I just want to do what I love most which is to play football! 

“I’m very happy in China. I like and respect all of the Chinese people.”

His club also denied the claims, slamming Li Bing and Wu Ming for what they deemed "inappropriate comments."

"The claims Hulk punched the assistant coach of Guizhou are not true," Shanghai said on the club's official Weibo account.

"The statements of Li Bing and Yu Ming are inappropriate and they provoke hostility between the foreign players and Chinese people and it has affected the image of our club."

Li Bing, who is set to be replaced by Spanish coach Gregorio Manzano at Guizhou, had singled out Hulk both at his post-match press conference and later on Weibo.

“In the corridor, Hulk cursed our assistant coach in English. We argued with him and he punched our assistant coach Yu Ming and caused him to fall to the ground," he said. 

"Foreign players come here to help with the development of Chinese football, but no matter how well you play, you cannot despise Chinese people, let alone beat our Chinese coaches."