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The Chinese National team issue with tattoos

Chinese prohibition at the time of Asian Cup

The Chinese National team issue with tattoos Chinese prohibition at the time of Asian Cup

Among the most eagerly awaited Asian Cup team, there is China coached by Marcello Lippi. The reason is not for the technical level of the team, but rather to see how much the Chinese football is grown, after in recent years the federation and the government has invested in European players looking for motivations or at the end of their career, moving to the east to promote the development of football. If you are following the competition you may have noticed that some players wear long-sleeved shirts despite 30 degrees in Saudi Arabia. The answer should not be found in style choices but in the provisions of the government of Xi Jinping, in a non-official statement that obliges to hide the tattoos' players, both in the national team and in the Chinese Super League, where clubs bandage the tattooed areas not covered by shorts, socks, and t-shirt.

The politics is to promote a positive image of the sport, not frivolous and superficial. It is only one side of the war that the Chinese government is carrying out for control over modernity, homogenization and the westernization of traditions and habits. Although the Tattoo is part of the Eastern tradition, much more than the European one, the image of the tattooed football player is a postcard of the western athlete, from basketball to football. The biggest players in the world, a source of income in China, are completely covered in ink, just think of Messi, Ibrahimovic or Neymar.

Zhang Linpeng, defender of the Guangzhou Evergrande of Cannavaro and considered one of the best Chinese players, is completely covered by tattoos so much that last March, when the decree had been more or less formalized, he had been excluded from the friendly matches of his national team, formally due to injury, but the fans wanted to look for wider reasons. During the Asian Cup for which he was summoned, Zhang has however refused to cover the tattoo on his neck, hands, and leg.

Football, in the most populous nation in the world, is struggling to find a complete evolution. It is still a mere form of entertainment that has no power and independent development. Just think of the compulsory military service, which takes away the younger players from many Chinese Super League squads by slowing down the growth process of the entire movement. The limits of Chinese football are clear, the incredible organization, the economic resources and the structures are limited by government policies, in these details more frivolous than tattoos.