After Saturday night’s Jing-jin derby, there was yet another fan incident outside of Workers’ Stadium. Last season, our man in Beijing demanded an apology from the Global Times after they botched an article on a post-match incident. This year’s incident mirrors the one from last season, though it was on a greater scale as 3-4 cars were involved. It so frustrated the usually unflappable B. Cheng so much, we decided to let him tell it in his own words…
Beijing fans are well known as some of the best in China, but once again some “fans” set out to destroy that reputation after Saturday night’s match against rivals Tianjin Teda.
For the second year in a row, there was a post-match incident in which individuals, some in green, attacked multiple cars with Tianjin license plates west of Workers’ Stadium’s main gate. What made it all the more surreal is that someone lit a flare nearby, giving the whole scene an unusual red glow.
The incident has many real fans up in arms as they wonder what repercussions this idiocy will have when Beijing returns to the capital to take on Liaoning in early June. Despite nobody from any supporters sections being identified in last season’s incident, local police banned the sections from using flags and banners for multiple matches. Unfortunately, that is how things work, when the police can’t find the real culprits, they punish the easy targets.
While the cars that were attacked all had Tianjin license plates, with the difficulty of getting a license plate in Beijing, it’s not uncommon for local Beijingers to choose Tianjin plates over waiting in the ever growing Beijing plate lottery. No matter where the fans were from, there is no excuse for this level of stupidity and mindless destruction. Many referred to the individuals involved as “hooligans”, but they are even worse than that. In my experience, the “hooligans” in China generally have their own “code” and don’t just attack anybody for absolutely no reason. These are just senseless criminals.
What’s worse is that incidents like this only strengthen the negative perceptions many have of Beijing fans in particular and Chinese football fans in general. These perceptions exist among the local police, foreigners, and the media (especially the foreign media). It is likely to lead to the supporters sections at Gongti being punished for something they had nothing to do with after having just suffered punishment for the Huang Bowen incident.
As a longtime Guoan supporter and resident of this city, I can’t help but feel hurt by these actions, which can really only be explained by stupidity and the immaturity of youth. I’m not puritanical when it comes to type of support and I can understand needing an emotional release after drawing with Tianjin the way Guoan did, but I simply can’t get my head around destroying some innocent third party’s property.
This is once again a stain on football in Beijing, hopefully one that will soon pass as the “silent majority” stands up and calls out these individuals for what they are.
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