Former Spurs star Paulinho under fire for posing with porn star in casino advert

  • Former Tottenham player signed for CSL club Guangzhou in 2015
  • Brazilian under fire for his role in casino advertising campaign
  • Adult actress and model Tsukasa Aoi pictured alongside Paulinho

Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho has earned a rebuke from Chinese soccer authorities after posing with a porn star as part of a advertising campaign for a online casino.

Footage emerged of the 28-year-old Brazilian, who currently plays for Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande, taking part in a photo shoot for a Philippines-based casino alongside actress and model Tsukasa Aoi, who has previously worked in the Japanese adult film industry.

In response to the footage the Chinese Super League (CSL) issued a public statement, criticizing Paulinho and reminding all players in the CSL to be mindful of their public image.

China has strict rules prohibiting both online casinos and pornography, and Paulinho’s involvement with the advertisement prompted the Chinese Football Association (CFA) to put out its own statement criticizing the player.

The CFA stated that, after an investigation, it was accepted that the player had made the decision to take part in the advertisement, without reporting it to his club, Guangzhou Evergrande, and that the club did not support his actions.

Integrity of football

Paulinho was one of the first players to make the switch from top level European football to China, when he moved to Guangzhou from Tottenham in 2015 for a fee of around $14.86 million. Since then, a number of world stars have headed to the CSL, including Carlos Tevez, Oscar and John Obi Mikel, as the country attempts to become a major soccer power.

In its statement, the CFA urged foreign citizens living in the country to comply with its laws and reiterated that it had been working with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation to protect the integrity of the sport, as part of which soccer players are explicitly forbidden from having any involvement with the industry.

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