Sports Impact On Sports

1408 Words6 Pages
After less than 30 minutes of play the under-20 Chinese national football team vacated the pitch in protest, signaling an early end to the first in a series of 16 friendly matches. The unfurling of four Tibetan flags, and accompanying free Tibet chant, were provocations manager Sun Jihai could not ignore. Had he done so, the incident would have merited little more than a paragraph on an otherwise ordinary fourth division game. Instead, the demonstration, as well as future game plans, became the topic of debate on talk shows in Germany, Asia, and with football fans worldwide. How we got to this point is an intriguing story.

China is making inroads on the global sporting landscape, and part of that strategy is endeavoring to learn from
…show more content…
It is doubtful the protesters knew just how impactive and successful their act would become.

The incident took on heightened international significance when Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made note of the game during a press briefing. "We are firmly opposed to any country or any individual offering support to separatist, anti-China and terrorist activities or activities defending Tibet independence, in any form or under any pretext.” Kang admonished German authorities as well, "I must stress that mutual respect is what the official host should provide their guest, and that respect between any two countries should be mutual." The Global Times newspaper, seen as an arm of the Chinese communist party, backed the manager’s decision in their editorial citing FIFA regulations restricting political banners at games. “China’s national junior team handled themselves correctly, demanding that German authorities take action against the flag of advocates of Tibetan independence. The German authorities should be ashamed that they did not have control in the stadium.”

Minister Lu Kang’s remarks did not receive a response from German government officials, but fueled further media debate causing regional soccer president Ronny Zimmerman to reassess his initial statement of support. He saw no merit in the Chinese rebuke, “We cannot ban the protests, there is the right to freedom of expression here and
Get Access