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CNN:中国队缺席世界杯 但中国球迷热情不减


2014-06-19 15:24:26




CNN:中国队缺席世界杯 但中国球迷热情不减
Liu Yilin (second from left), from Sichuan province, was at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro with his friends to watch the World Cup game between Spain and Chile. He said that he had seen another game in Rio and really enjoyed it. "The ticket is really hard to get, but I am lucky," said Liu. "It is so different to watch a game in Brazil because you get deeply touched by the emotion in the stadium!" [Zhang Fan / China Daily]

Thirty-two of the world's best football teams are now competing for the iconic golden World Cup trophy -- but the planet's most populous nation is not among them.


Team China failed to qualify for the "beautiful game's" showpiece event in Brazil. In fact China's World Cup dream turned into a nightmare as early as 2011, when it was eliminated in a regional qualifying round.


But for all the interest in football in this country of more than one billion people, it is a huge source of frustration that they can't field a competitive national team.


China reached the finals only once back in 2002. I remember that heady year. There was a heroes' welcome for the national team, many of whom became icons with fat commercial endorsements. There was deleterious display of national pride accompanied by soaring expectations for Team China.


But their debut turned out to be an embarrassing dud: they were knocked out after the group stage without scoring a single goal.


Still, these setbacks have not deflated the football fever here.


Global game


Chinese football fans have been enjoying the action in Brazil despite matches taking place after midnight, Beijing time.


By hook or by crook, local fans are finding ways to stay up late for the games. Some took paid leave, others found excuses to stay home, such as getting doctors to sign sick-leave certificates. A man asked to take the day off ostensibly to attend a teacher-parent conference.


Some managers say work place productivity has dropped lately. A few companies have simply conceded defeat, agreeing to a staggered work schedule to allow for some employees to stay in late, and come in late.


Cash kicks


Enthusiasm for the game brings commercial windfalls.


The World Cup advertising revenue for Leshi, one of China's largest video websites is estimated to reach RMB100 million yuan ($16 million), said its top executive Qiang Wei.


This summer alone CCTV, the state television network, could rake in as much as RMB1.5 billion yuan ($240 million) in advertising revenue -- 50% more than their earnings from the 2010 World Cup.


Coca Cola has used its sponsorship with a World Cup Trophy Tour, where they took the trophy to over 90 countries and held consumer events.


McDonald's ran point of sale promotions, which offered World Cup tickets to winners.


Since the month-long competition opened in Brazil, legions of Chinese sports fans have been gathering for viewing parties in their living rooms, in factory and school dormitories, and in restaurants and bars, many of which have opened late for the fans to watch matches live on Chinese television.


Of course, not all of these sleep-deprived folks are bona fide football fans. A posting on Baidu, China's largest search engine, noted that the Chinese have recently coined the word "wei qiumi," or "fake soccer fans," referring to people who watch the game only once in a while, who care more about the final scores rather than enjoying the actual games, and who think celebrity players play a more important role in matches than the coaches.


(译者 dulisa27 编辑 齐磊)



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