Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Next no perms? Chinese football fans slam tattoo ‘ban’



Next no perms? Chinese football fans slam tattoo ‘ban’

 China head coach Marcello Lippi watches from the sideline during the China Cup International Football Championship third-place playoff between China and the Czech Republic in Nanning on Monday. AFP
China head coach Marcello Lippi watches from the sideline during the China Cup International Football Championship third-place playoff between China and the Czech Republic in Nanning on Monday. AFP

Next no perms? Chinese football fans slam tattoo ‘ban’

Disillusioned Chinese fans blamed the country’s football authorities for the national side’s latest heavy defeats amid reports that the players have been banned from displaying tattoos.

Several players in the 6-0 thrashing by Wales last week and in Monday’s 4-1 defeat to the Czech Republic wore bandages or long sleeves on their arms, seemingly to hide tattoos.

Media reports said the players had been told to cover up while playing for China, who are coached by the Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi.

China’s most heavily inked player, central defender Zhang Linpeng, did not feature in either of the two heavy home defeats in the China Cup despite normally being a first choice.

He was officially left out because of injury, but some fans suggested he had been dropped because of numerous tattoos on his arms and on his neck.

Chinese footballers are not generally as heavily tattooed as their international counterparts, but the growing trend has caught the government’s attention as it cracks down on what it sees as behaviour contrary to the ruling Communist Party’s “values and morals”.

In Monday’s defeat by the Czech Republic, midfielder Cai Huikang wore long sleeves that covered up his tattoos and fellow substitute Wei Shihao had a bandage that masked the ink on one bicep.

There has been no official ban from the Chinese Football Association (CFA), but reports in local media say a ruling is imminent and it could be part of a larger move against Chinese sportsmen with tattoos.

Lin Dan, regarded as the best badminton player of all time, is among the Chinese stars who would have to cover up.

China have improved since the 69-year-old Lippi took over in October 2016, but he was unable to get them to this summer’s World Cup and they have now suffered two heavy losses in five days in front of their own fans.

Mind the gap

Lippi apologised after the latest mauling.

“The game truly reflected the gap between Chinese football and European football,” the Italian, who guided his country to World Cup glory in 2006, said.

“Not only compared with European first-class teams like France, Spain and Germany, but also European teams like Wales and the Czech Republic, the gap is all-round,” quoted him as saying.

Chinese fans though pointed the finger at the CFA and said the governing body should be more concerned with the state of the national team than the players’ tattoos.

“CFA finally found the problem of Chinese football! The next step should be controls on perms, smoking and haircuts,” one mocked on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter.

Another wrote: “They play like crap and don’t reflect why, but try to control tattoos ... ”

MOST VIEWED

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration