To my surprise, fans were freely walking back out of the stadium. The vast security team that had so diligently monitored the actions of the crowd inside the ground now seemed entirely ambivalent to their temporary exit. With fifteen minutes to kill, I followed many fans out to find a soft drink. Having completed my purchase from a vendor making his living in the shadow of the stadium named in honour of the city’s proletariat, I turned to face the Beijing Workers’ Stadium and bumped into three young men in identical green t-shirts featuring bold designs. Given the impenetrable language barrier, I made a friendly motion to demonstrate my wish to take a photograph. Their passive demeanour evaporated.
The ethnic Han account for approximately 92% of the population of the People’s Republic of China. A couple hundred other ethnic groups are formally recognised by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), though possibly thousands more exist unofficially within the world’s most populous country. In his book “The Emperor Far Away”, author David Eimer literally and figuratively explores four geographic regions of China where the Han Chinese are outnumbered by their reluctant compatriots, and his work directly inspired this article.
The picture he paints is bleak. While the Han Continue reading
An immediate observation made at Chinese Football games is the consistent employment of a Capo figure in blocks of fans and Ultras within the stadium. At all Chinese Super League matches I’ve attended in the People’s Republic, a Capo has been present at every single one.
If you are unfamiliar Continue reading
One common characteristic of Football matches in China is the extensive police presence. At the Worker’s Stadium in Beijing, each seating block is allocated numerous uniformed officers with more scattered between the fans and the pitch. The officers gather in rank once again after the match outside the stadium in plain view of any remaining spectators still loitering around, a show of force and a clear statement to any would-be troublemakers. Take a brief view at the photo below and you will clearly see many serving officers in khaki uniforms sat in the front row of the stand.
This behaviour shouldn’t seem strange to you. China is very wary of Continue reading
All the other bloggers writing about the rise of the Chinese Super League do it from afar. We wanted to check out the scene first hand. Welcome to your first primary research blog post about Football in China.
Walking around Beijing, there are no clues that there is a Football club at all. Nobody is wearing the jerseys, there is no colourful graffiti, no Continue reading
After a night of beers we somehow ended up at the Beijing Olympic Park, fortunately with the camera. The National Stadium a.k.a. “The Bird’s Nest” glowed orange as we approached, but the lights suddenly went out. We however much preferred the sight of cold steel weaving in and out, both Continue reading