You may have heard by now about China’s ban on tattoos, first announced in January when “hip-hop elements” were deemed no longer suitable for TV, and now scrubbed from soccer, too (as detailed below). But though this forms part of a wider campaign, Chinese football has seen the government get involved all too often.
Just this week, Zhao Yong, deputy director of China’s General Administration of Sport, was spouting off about the fact he felt China’s national team couldn’t possibly play together on the *same* team because they played *against* each other every week in the Chinese Super League. Zhao was educated at Hunan Water Works and Hydroelectric College and has precisely zero experience in sports administration, but that’s the kind of person running Chinese football these days. Bear that in mind as you read this week’s column…
If only Chinese footballers could shoot the ball in the net as consistently as Chinese football shoots itself in the foot.
Shortly after last week’s column about China’s 6-0 hammering by Wales in the Gree China Cup went to print, soccer fans started to notice something in photographs of the match that hadn’t been immediately obvious on TV.
Why were certain Chinese players wearing skin-colored bandages on their arms? Was this some kind of newfangled wearable tech? Was a highly contagious skin rash spreading through the locker room?