HONG KONG (Reuters) - Guangzhou Evergrande captain Zheng Zhi has been fined 100,000 yuan ($14,716) by the club for not leading his players to an end-of-game handshake with the referee following Sunday's Chinese Super League defeat at Tianjin Quanjian.
The six-times Chinese champions lost 4-3 to suffer a first league defeat in 13 games as the Fabio Cannavaro-coached Tianjin ended Evergrande's 11-game winning run.
The defeat saw Guangzhou's lead over Shanghai SIPG reduced to a point as the season reached the halfway stage and China captain Zheng was reprimanded by the club for his reaction.
"We always require players and coaches to pay full respect to our opponents and to referees," Guangzhou said in a statement on the club's website.
"On 2 July 2017, during our away game against Tianjin Quanjjan, Zheng Zhi failed to comply with the club regulations and failed to be the leading example to the team."
The move follows a series of sanctions handed out by the Chinese Football Association in recent weeks, with Shanghai SIPG striker Oscar handed an eight-game ban for initiating a mass brawl.
The Brazil midfielder's team mates Hulk and Wu Lei were also handed two-match bans, along with coach Andre Villas-Boas, for protesting Oscar's punishment.
($1 = 6.7955 yuan)
Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong; Editing by John O'Brien