Dalian Shide, eight-times Chinese league champions, have been invited to travel to Myanmaar to play its national side, in a somewhat unusual match-up taking place amid the first elections to be held in the country for 20 years.
According to Sports 163, Dalian are about to begin training in preparation for their trip to the south east Asian country, following their final Chinese Super League fixture against rival dongbei side Changchun at the weekend, and will leave for Myanmar on November 14, staying for a week or so.
Myanmar’s elections have been roundly dismissed as a ‘sham’ by the international media. The Sports 163 report describes these elections as “extremely important” to the Myanmar people, neglecting to mention the fact that many ordinary citizens are unable to vote, or much about the rather limited range of prospective candidates standing on the hustings.
“Myanmar’s military government is set to win the country’s first elections in 20 years, as the ruling generals vote themselves back into power, amid opposition claims of intimidation and poll irregularities,” said Aljazeera.
According to the Sports 163 article, the Dalian players are unhappy about the trip because they are already supposed to be on holiday before returning to the club on December 15 to begin training for the new Chinese Super League season starting next March. That seems like a very long pre-season training period, but that’s what the article says.
The piece also says Dalian’s foreign player contingent have already returned to their home countries, as has South Korean coach Park Seong-Hwa, so the match will be played with Chinese players and coaching staff only.