FM spokesman: See no politics in football
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said in Beijing Wednesday that he hopes the Chinese and Japanese football fans will behave well when they watch the Asian Cup final on Saturday, when the Chinese team will fight against defending champion Japan.
Kong made the remark when asked to comment on the unruly behavior of some Chinese fans toward the Japanese football team during the Asian Cup.
Kong said the 2004 Asian Cup is an important international sports event hosted by China. "We are very happy to see that the Chinese team and Japanese team both made it to the final with outstanding performance. We hope the Chinese and Japanese footballfans will enjoy a wonderful match on Aug. 7 with good behavior."
Kong said that according to the information he received, the four matches that the Japanese team played so far were well-ordered and had a warm atmosphere.
He said it was known to all that extreme behaviors of few football fans were frequently witnessed at key international football matches. "We don't agree with those behaviors," he said.
But the spokesman also said it was regrettable that some Japanese media focused too much and played up on those behaviors and even connected them with politics.
China and Japan have a long history of friendly exchanges, he said. "We
believe that improving China-Japan communication including sports exchanges will
help promote understanding and friendship between the two peoples."