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

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there