Chinese President Xi Jinping can do many things, but bringing a World Cup to China won’t be one of them.
We’ve covered Xi’s love of soccer – manufactured or otherwise – several times here on China Sports Insider, but the subject is back in the news again after his recent comments on promoting the game in China. First thoughts are the moves being made do look like sensible, long-term overhauls, rather than the short-term, quick fixes that government officials have previously initiated solely to gain attention and/or promotion (see Beckham, David).
With the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (YOG) drawing to a close earlier this week after receiving little to none global attention, the few people who were watching have been debating the merits of the spectacle. In general, those who were there appear to have been won over by the Chinese penchant for ‘Bigger is Better’, while those who weren’t were more than happy to pile on.
The glut of “China isn’t at the World Cup, but…” articles has slowed (there is only so much to say, after all), though these pictures of President Xi Jinping are doing the rounds (h/t @niubi), unthinkable to depict the President in cartoon form just a few years ago.
China won’t be playing in Brazil – they have appeared at a World Cup just once and failed to score a goal – but millions will stay up late to watch the games – starting this Friday at 4 am when Croatia kicks off against the host nation in São Paulo. Here are 10 things in this year’s World Cup with a Chinese connection. Continue reading The World Cup with Chinese characteristics→
There’s a particular official within Chinese soccer circles who has developed a habit of starting each press conference or meeting with the words “I don’t know anything about football, but…” The intent is clear: if (when) this all goes south (again), it’s not my fault.
The state’s control of Chinese football is a large reason for its poor performance over the years: what is needed is a long-term plan, but Chinese officialdom rewards short-term thinking.
With several high prominent western leaders boycotting the Sochi Olympics, it was of even more importance to Russia and the IOC that Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony. In an official press release about the first ever IOC President’s dinner, Xi was mentioned in the same breath as Russian President Vladimir Putin, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Karolos Papoulias, President of Greece (home of the Olympics). All other attendees were listed further down the release, showing the importance of Xi’s presence.