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Paulinho under fire in China over ads with porn star


Beijing (AFP) – Brazilian international Paulinho was chastised Saturday by the Chinese football federation after promoting a betting company with a porn star — two sectors banned in the communist country.

In the photographs online that have been an embarrassment for his Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, Paulinho, smiling and clutching a wad of cash, is shown standing next to a woman in a white bikini top and shorts. 

According to the Chinese media, the woman with the former Tottenham player is Tsukasa Aoi, a Japanese adult film star.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has said they condemn these “illegal activities” and called for the Brazilian to “respect the rules” in a statement on their website.

Gambling and casinos are illegal in mainland China, as is the sale of pornographic films.

“As a professional player and role model to young players and the public, he needs to excercise self-discipline and be careful about his image and be a positive example,” the federation said.

The body said Paulinho, 28, had never asked permission from his club to collaborate with a betting company.

“The club has already chastised the player and demanded he end his collaboration with the company immediately,” they added.

Sina Sports, a Chinese website, cited an “assistant” to Paulinho as saying the footballer didn’t know Tsukasa Aoi was an adult film star. 

The Brazilian had done publicity for a betting company based in the Philippines and it was not supposed to be shown in China, it said.

Sina Sports said Paulinho is considering suing the company for broadcasting the images without his permission.

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