Guangzhou Evergrande of China have been found guilty of a number of breaches of the AFC Champions League Regulations and Marketing and Media Regulations for AFC Club Competitions.
The violations are in relation to the second leg of the 2015 final, which The Southern China Tigers hosted on November 21 against Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates.
The breaches included filming the opponent’s closed training session, conducting an unauthorised post-match ceremony, infringing upon the commercial rights of AFC sponsors and numerous violations in relation to the organisation of the second leg, including significant safety and security failures.
The AFC Disciplinary Committee has fined Guangzhou a total of USD160,000 and ordered the club to play its first match in the 2016 season behind closed doors. This will be Guangzhou’s group match on February 24 against the winner of the first East Zone Play-Off.
The Chinese Football Association also received a fine of USD10,000.
Both parties have been warned that a repeat violation of these provisions will be met with more severe punishment.
In far better news for Guangzhou, the signing of Jackson Martinez has now been confirmed.
Martinez could be a huge asset to the Chinease side. Before moving to Atletico Madrid, the Columbian had an impeccable record at former club FC Porto, bagging at least 20 league goals in each of his three campaigns in Portugal. He racked up 92 goals in 132 appearances in all competitions for The Dragons.