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Chinese Super League to use European refs for week's matches

With only five matches remaining in the CSL, can Shanghai SIPG close in on Guangzhou's six-point lead?
Brazilians Hulk and Oscar combined to give Shanghai SIPG the lead away at Beijing Guoan.

European referees Jonas Eriksson and Tony Chapron will oversee this week's Chinese Super League fixtures as the Chinese Football Association seeks to improve the standard of officiating in the final phase of this year's domestic campaign.

Swedish referee Eriksson will take charge of Tianjin Quanjian's high-pressure meeting with Shandong Luneng as both clubs continue their quest for a place in next year's Asian Champions League.

Frenchman Chapron, meanwhile, will oversee Shanghai Shenhua's meeting with Tianjin Teda in the lower reaches of the standings.

The Chinese Football Association has said the appointments are an attempt to "improve the accuracy of officiating".

"In order to ensure a smooth finish to the season, from Round 27 onwards the Chinese Football Association will invite referees from Europe and the Americas to officiate on crucial games," the CFA said in a statement issued on Thursday.

Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson will take charge of the match between Tianjin Quanjian and Shandong Luneng.

"The improvement of the quality of officiating has been an important part of the CFA's work and inviting established foreign referees will improve the accuracy of officiating while also providing education and communication opportunities for Chinese referees."

The Chinese Football Association also announced that the video assistant referee system will be used for the remainder of the season as well as throughout the entire 2018 campaign.

"The Chinese Football Association has enhanced training for referees, putting emphasis on monitoring and regulation, to build professional refereeing teams while implementing new technologies and exploring a new path for the development of Chinese referees," they said.

"At the moment, the Chinese Football Association is working with FIFA and the International Football Association Board in order to implement the video assistant officiating system. It will be tested during the final phase of this season and completely implemented in the 2018 season."

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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