Changchun deny turning pitch into ice rink

BEIJING - Chinese club Changchun Yatai have denied watering their pitch to turn it into an "ice rink" for their Asian Champions League tie against South Korea's Jeonbuk Motors on Wednesday.

The city in China's northeast is one of the country's coldest with regular snowfall and temperatures plummeting well below zero degrees Celcius at this time of year.

In Changchun's last home match in the competition earlier this month, they won 9-0 against Indonesia's Persipura Jayapura, who are based on the island of New Guinea where temperatures average 25 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

"I heard that with the previous game with the Indonesian team it went down below 15 degrees," Jeonbuk coach Choi Kang-hee told Sports Seoul on Monday.

"I also heard that they pour water on the ground at nights. It seems like we may have to play our game on an ice rink."

Changchun coach Shen Xiangfu denied the accusation at a news conference early on Tuesday.

"Such accusation is totally untrue," he said. "Our visitors, please don't worry. We never do such things like watering the pitch to make it an ice rink."

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