Sport and Leisure in China…..Part Two.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on the Beautiful Game and despite efforts to become a hardcore aficionado, haven’t got beyond the near novice stage. This can be explained by the need to fertilise other interests and the time zone problem since most games come on at some ungodly hour before dawn.

However, even a novice knows that Wayne Rooney is a little bitch, Alex Fergusan is sorely in need of elocution lessons and that Ronaldo would benefit from a really good stiff arm tackle. To make matters worse, we now find that Ronaldo has joined Radiohead and that very small man Tom Cruise, and opened a Weibo account.

It must be really galling for Chinese football fans to be tweeted by Ronaldo: “Did you catch my three in twenty minutes the other night?”

Forget all this stuff about China’s military ambitions, desire to be accepted at the top table with developed Western nations as an equal, etc. The Chinese people would happily settle for a national team which would make regular appearances in top-tier global competitions. However, as all are aware, China’s national team is an embarrassment beyond definition, and here WIKI captures its dreadful record in all its ignominy.

And, you can see this one coming. According to Wei Di head of the CFA:

“Chinese football has degraded to an intolerable level. It has hurt the feelings of fans and Chinese people at large,..”

And to make matters worse, despite a new Spanish coach who is a blow-in at the end of his career:

“Compared with our neighbours Japan and South Korea, Chinese football is lagging far behind,…blah blah”.

You don’t need foreign media sources to chart this descent through the U bend. The China Daily HERE does a perfectly good job.

China’s soccer team coach Jose Antonio Camacho delivered the report about the match against Iraq to the Chinese Football Association (CFA), admitting a gap between Chinese football and his expectations, Guangzhou-based Soccer News reported Thursday.

We can not request too much from him, the time left for him is too short to do more, and Chinese football has unique characteristics,” CFA deputy chief Yu Hongchen was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

They are on the verge of being eliminated at the first round of qualifier for the 2014 World Cup, and need to win the rest of the three group matches – a feat which is considered mission impossible by fans. 92.4% of the 65,696 people polled were pessimistic about the future of China’s team, according to an online survey by portal website Sina.com.

While I leave it to the Dear Reader to define these Chinese characteristics, an easy job which I will ignore, Chinese fans have few excuses and cannot complain about the lack of sporting infrastructure as reported by the Global TimesMore Stadiums than Sports.

So what’s the strategy. Well after pissing all over Japan after various contrived incidents in the past 20 years:

A group of high-ranking Chinese sports officials (AGAIN) headed for Japan Tuesday afternoon, hoping to bring back the secret behind the island country’s stunning soccer success over the years, Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post reported Wednesday.

These visitations have been regular events over the past decade, and the Japanese have now reached a state of Zen bemusement;

“So many visits are just futile, I haven’t seen any changes in Chinese soccer,” ex-president of JFA Saburo Kawabuchi is quoted as saying by Oriental Morning Post. Same China Daily link.

Consequently:

Statistics show that there are only 7,000 registered young soccer players under the age of 18 in China, while in Japan that same group’s number is 500,000.

And the consequences!

Well, China PR PIPS Albania in football. Something to really gloat about at the Peoples Consultative Congress. NBA, probably the most successful franchise ever to enter China, will continue to sell even more of its shitty merchandise to Sino-teenagers. Young Chinese folk will become increasingly passive Wang Yue Yue (Happy Happy) observers. Ronaldo will continue to clean up in China selling Pepsi.

And the only time visible opportunity China will have to achieve a full sporting erection FSE is if Liu Xiang wins the 100 metres hurdle in London in 2012. And since I been jeering at that pathetic boy stooge for ages now, we end here.

Endnote. Thanks to Lost Loawai for the Happy Happy reference.

I thoroughly recommend Justrecentlys interview with Catherine Yeung from the Under the Jacaranda Tree blog HERE.

Fight the Power (Isley Brothers) UPDATE. I finished the last entry with a reference to the Lusaka Times which has been in my favourites for ages due to Sino-mining ventures there. HERE is a read on a winning outcome against International Thief Thieves.

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3 Responses to “Sport and Leisure in China…..Part Two.”

  1. NiubiCowboy Says:

    For the next few decades at least, there are way too many institutional impediments preventing China from achieving success in any of the more widely watched world sports. If a kid in a Chinese elementary school happens to excel in football, chances are they’re not going to have any time to develop their potential because there’s simply no time in which to do so.

    Classes from 7-5.
    After school classes from 5-7.
    Piano practice at 8.
    Study and homework time from 8-11.

    All of that time is spent just trying to keep up with the rest of their peers. Throw footy into the mix and they’re likely to fall behind their classmates which will lead to them not getting accepted into the best middle school, which will make it harder for them to get into the best high school, which will severely limit their chances to gain acceptance to a decent university.

    China still relies on Soviet-style athlete procurement, where children are cultivated from a young age to become amazing athletes in a very short period of time (China’s world-class gymnastics program, for example). The problem with such a system is that you have this very small pool of world-class athletes coupled with a seeming ocean of hundreds of millions of non-athletes (excluding badminton). In contrast, in many parts of the Western world, you have huge pools of recreational and amateur athletes from which potential stars are culled, trained, and developed. Children grow up playing a sport like football in school and with their friends on the weekend, as well as attending local and regional matches as they grow up. The latter system helps instill an appreciation for the game itself because everyone has played the game at some point in their life and thus has a basic understanding of the game’s mechanics. Even if your chosen team is doing poorly on the pitch, your knowledge of the game still allows you to appreciate a particularly well-executed play by the opposing team or the athleticism of one of their star athletes. However, if you’re watching a game you’re emotionally invested in but have no idea what the hell’s going on, chances are the win matters more than the sport (see: much of the Beijing Olympics).

    To some extent government interference in sports is to blame, but societal pressure to devote one’s time to academic pursuits rather than sport is also a key factor. Unfortunately, the solution to this problem isn’t as easy to taking a trip to Japan to see what they’re doing differently. It will require a fundamental re-evaluation of state-sponsored athletics programs as well as the role of athletics in Chinese society.

  2. kingtubby1 Says:

    Too true. About 40 million Chinese students are tortured by piano lessons on a weekly basis. God, I hate to think of the psychic damage being done to young minds and bodies by classical violin.
    Bit biased here, since I bloody hate violins in any shape, size or genre.

    Li Na appears to have broken with the mould in contrast to that boy puppet Liu.

    Re: Article. My mail to you star…gmail account pinged back.
    Do you have a mail address we could use to facilitate this guest article?

    kingtubbyblog@gmail.com

    Cheers
    KT

  3. NiubiCowboy Says:

    Given what we’ve been discussing here, this is a timely little article: http://shanghaiist.com/2011/10/25/beijing-russia-socccer-friendly.php

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