Zhang Yuning, a former striker of China's national soccer team, had paid 2.34 million yuan (282,000 US dollars) on Nov.22 to his former Liaoning club teammate Qu Leheng, who had been disabled in a car crash four years ago.
Zhang, sued by Qu over the accident which left Qu in a wheelchair for life, had already paid the total sum.
Zhang told a press briefing, "I have asked my parents to remit the money to the account designated by the court."
Zhang, who once played for the national team when Bora Milutinovic was in charge, drove the car with Qu, which crashed into a tree on April 26, 2000. Zhang, who fastened the seat belt, sustained slight injuries, but Qu, who was not in the belt protection, became paraplegic.
Qu, now 27, had been a rising star in the year 2000 when he replaced Zhang as the starting forward in that year's Chinese Super Cup duel (a match between the Chinese league champions Shangdong and the Chinese league cup champions Liaoning) on March 4. Qu made an amazing hat trick to help his team beat Shandong 4-2.
On Nov. 10 of this year, the Shenyang Intermediate People's Court in northeastern China made a final judgment, ordering Zhang to pay Qu 2.34 million yuan in compensation. Of the total sum, 700,000 yuan was mental damage award, the largest ever of its kind in China.
This was the very first time Zhang held a press briefing to share his feelings about Qu's misfortune over past four years.
"I totally understand what he thought and did. We grew up together, used to be good friends and will always be friends." Zhang said, who made his first public apology to Qu.
According to Zhang's lawyer Liu Hong, although Zhang still thought the compensation was high, especially the awards for mental damage, articles for the handicapped and work delay totaling 1.57 million yuan, Zhang decided to abnegate his right to ask for a retrial.