Robert_Donewald_JrDecember 21 - The head coach of the Chinese men's basketball team and three of his players have been suspended following a mass brawl during a friendly against Brazil.

FIBA, the world governing body, has also fined the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) following an investigation into the incident.

The fight erupted when China's American head coach Robert Donewald Jr (pictured) reacted to a refereeing decision and was called for a technical foul at the Jincheng Arena, in China's Sichuan province, in October.

After a second technical foul he remained on his team's bench in breach of official basketball rules.

Two separate general brawls ensued, with Brazilian players coming under attack from Chinese players on both occasions.

The game was stopped and never resumed.

Donewald Jr is suspended with immediate effect for three official games and was also fined.

He will serve a two-year probationary period during which exemplary and sportsmanlike behaviour is expected.

Zhu Fangyu is suspended for two official games, and Sun Yue and Zhang Bo for one.

The Chinese Basketball Association was also fined.

The three FIBA referees - Jiang Tongbiao, Jan Jun and He Luwei - were banned from nomination for official international competition for one year after failing to officiate according to the letter and spirit of the official rules of basketball.

All parties have the right to appeal.

FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann said: "We remain committed to our responsibility of promoting fair play as well as protecting the integrity of basketball.

"Coaches, players and referees share the responsibility for ensuring the game is played in a sporting and exemplary manner.

"This sends the important message that such violence within the sport is utterly unacceptable.

"We are grateful to the Chinese Basketball Association, who have been fully collaborative and have formally apologised, expressing their regret for this unfortunate incident."