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Matches across the country cancelled due to “sensitive time”

This past weekend saw matches cancelled in Beijing, Qingdao, and Hangzhou due to it being a “sensitive time”. The CFA offered nothing more in the way of an explanation, but all signs point to this being due to the Anti-Japanese protests that have spread across the country.

Originally, only the match in Beijing was to be cancelled, the announcement coming Friday afternoon and angering many fans. The capital is preparing for the upcoming party meetings to be held next month and a number of events, including the Beijing Marathon, have fallen by the wayside, but cancelling the match a full month before the meetings didn’t seem logical, even in overly safe China. The obvious reason was that it was due to the Anti-Japanese protests over the disputed pile of rocks in the East China Sea. The Japanese Embassy is a short ride from Worker’s Stadium and some, idiotic Guoan fans were talking about bringing the protests into Worker’s Stadium, leading the authorities to cancel the match.

The much talked about Hangzhou Greentown-Shandong Luneng match was cancelled early Saturday morning despite it being played in Hangzhou. Greentown is managed by the top Japanese manager, Takeshi Okada, and even though it was to be played at home, the club was concerned about the manager’s safety. As long as tensions between Japan and China remain high, stoked by the media, it will be hard for Hangzhou to play another match this season.

The last of the match cancellations came late Saturday evening after a day of destruction and lunacy in Qingdao. A Japanese grocery store and car dealership were looted and burned by out of control rioters in that city leading the authorities to decide not to play the next day’s match, trying to avoid anything to stoke tensions.

There has been no word about when the matches will be rescheduled, but it is most likely that these matches will be played midweek at some point in October. Politics and football should never mix and these cancellations have been incredibly frustrating for fans of the clubs, especially those who aren’t caught up in the blind nationalism that is plaguing the country.

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.



  1. GZBiffo

    18/09/2012 at 01:12

    Thanks for posting this, been very keen to hear more since I saw the news about Guoan in the ‘In Brief’ section on the home page. Totally agree with the sentiments expressed and hope that those organising these protests feel that they have sufficiently made their point and wind down the agitation. Tomorrow should tell.

  2. Rovertlamb

    18/09/2012 at 13:44

    The concern for Okada exists more for away matches. Here in Hangzhou Greentown fans have been vocal in their support for Okada and the importance to separate sport and politics.

  3. Donald

    18/09/2012 at 15:56

    There was trouble in Guangzhou at the Japanese consulate on Saturday and a protest march on Sunday afternoon but thankfully that didn’t stop Fuli’s Sunday night game.

  4. BulaimeiShanghai

    19/09/2012 at 07:14

    Nationalism is a smokescreen, of course, there is probably oil underneath so that makes everyone go bonkers about it. There is other things to focus on which require more urgency such as the long promised greening of the economy, it’s a long way off and more talk than action occurred. Corruption still exists as well, so take these issues to those are who are responsible. Instead the caring elites who probably hold some money in foreign bank accounts thought: “Oh, ok: Back to route one that always works when people are angry and dissatisfied: Nationalism! You see that pile of rocks, that’s ours, let’s blow it up, out of proportion…stupidity prevails as always among humankind…So not even normal fans like in HZ can watch their manager and their team, great job, China, great job…We can see how far ahead you are, indeed…Sorry that whole thing pisses me off time and time again…From a China lover but who doesn’t get and doesn’t want to get to grips with stupidity! Alerta Antifascista!

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