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

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of