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Another Chinese Failure – Blame the Referees, Blame the Players,Blame the CFA

Chinese players leave the pitch dejected

If you’re looking for a full, non-profanity laced and loaded with plaudits match report regarding last night’s Olympic team match, you can visit the CFA’s beautiful new English language site.  See, now you have options, we aren’t the only game in town when it comes to national team coverage, so if that’s what you want, fuck off to their site.  Because, of course, paying a bigtime sports agency top dollar to create a beautiful new English language site is far more important than putting money into youth development and intelligent management.

It’s easy to write the story of last night’s game as the referee screwing over China.  If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you can even argue it’s yet another example of the “western Asians” (the referee and linesmen were from Iran) sticking together.  China scored a righteous goal in the final moments of added time, that should have been it, done and dusted, and they should have been headed to the group stages of Asian Olympic qualifying where they would proceed to fail to qualify for the Olympics and break fans’ hearts.

You don’t always get the calls, fucking get over it, in one sense it’s easy to blame it all on the referee, but we also need to ask harder questions.  Why the fuck were league games not cancelled Saturday, but cancelled Wednesday?  What did cancelling the games mean, no additional players made the trip to Oman.  Either you treat the Olympics as a serious competition and do what you can to field your best side, or you treat it as the joke it is like the rest of the world, why half ass it?  Further isn’t it the CFA’s own damn fault for taking Oman lightly?  A number of full national teamers who are still at the right age to play for the Olympic team, including stars like Feng Renliang and Deng Zhuoxiang, weren’t included in the lineup.  What the hell was Cao Yunding thinking with that idiotic, studs up tackle that swung momentum moments after China went up 1-0?!?  And, of course, why the fuck wasn’t China’s goal allowed?

Chinese players leave the pitch dejected

an all too common sight, Chinese players leaving the pitch, heads down and mourning another missed opportunity...

Why is it that the only player on the field who looked like he cared was Bali (Bari Mamatil, a Uyghur who plays his club football for Hangzhou Greentown), although he missed a sitter later in the match, he didn’t stop running for all 120 minutes of the match and he seemed to be the only one creating chances.  Perhaps it’s just me being overly sensitive (ie a foreigner tuned in, perhaps over tuned, to political correctness), but the CCTV announcer’s constant references to Bali as a “cute youngster” (“巴力很可爱”,“巴力是个可爱小伙子”) started grating on me and seemed to be demeaning and more about his ethnicity than anything else.

While on the subject of the CCTV announcers, my momma told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything, but she also said the same thing if I didn’t have anything interesting to say.  The CCTV announcers closed the match saying something to the extent that we just saw China’s heroes fight hard (despite the fact that all but 1 player gave up once Oman get the equalizer and thus pushed ahead on aggregate), that these players would receive a heroes welcome when they returned to China, and that this is just one step in the development and growth of Chinese soccer.  Are. you. serious?  I wanted to puke, just say it was a disappointing result and goodnight to those who unfortunately stayed up until 1 am Beijing time to watch this embarassment on grass.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.



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