BEIJING, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) — Chinese basketball star Zhou Qi announced on Sunday that he would skip the upcoming Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) season as a consequence of a contract dispute with his club side, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
“I am withdrawing from the next season. It’s my responsibility to protect the players’ legitimate rights,” Zhou wrote on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo.
“I hope to make the CBA league more standardized and truly protect the reasonable rights of players through my work. Meanwhile, I will provide supplementary materials to the CBA as soon as possible. I believe that the CBA can give a fair and just decision,” he added.
Zhou’s contract with Xinjiang expired on July 31 and the club has the option to renew it. Guo Jian, general manager of the Xinjiang club, told Xinhua that they offered Zhou a new contract on June 25, but didn’t receive any feedback from him.
Guo expressed disappointment at Zhou’s decision. “The Xinjiang club has done its job according to the league’s regulations. It’s his own choice [to withdraw from the league].”
Guo revealed that Zhou’s business team had brought the contract dispute to the CBA, and the league’s governing body ruled that the contract was still valid and the club still owns the relevant rights. The 25-year-old center then applied for an arbitration over the contract dispute.
According to CBA regulations, players’ registration must be completed by August 31, otherwise players cannot compete in the new season.