Former Chinese men’s soccer team captain Fan Zhiyi (left) and CBA Liaoning Flying Leopards head coach Yang Ming perform at the Chinese variety show Roast! Photo: Screenshot of Tencent video
In contrast to the almost always disappointing performance of the Chinese men’s soccer team on the pitch, a former soccer player recently dealt a dramatic blow on a talk show by whipping his fellow basketball players who faced public criticism after their Embarrassing failure to defend the home court during the 2019 World Cup in China.
In an episode of the Chinese variety show Roast! broadcast on Sunday, former Chinese men’s soccer team captain Fan Zhiyi ridiculed the performance of Chinese male basketball players who lost to Poland and Venezuela in the Basketball World Cup 2019, citing many bitter comments from internet users.
After Fan, Yang Ming, head coach of the Liaoning Flying Leopards basketball team, also joked about the underwhelming national football team.
Netizens laughed a lot at the exchange of words between the two, and some keen eyes clearly laughed at that, China’s “next eleven to win forever” did more work to save their faces than the goals, like the Chinese football association (CFA) has rolled out a code prohibiting players from openly inciting animosity.
The CFA’s annual discipline code was unveiled on Tuesday, just days after players openly mocked each other and sparked a large-scale public debate. The code further emphasizes zero tolerance for violence on the ground. A separate clause, however, caught the public’s attention.
Article 59 of the code indicates that players or officials who publicly incite hostility and violence will be severely punished. Violation of this provision will result in a minimum suspension of one month and a fine of at least 200,000 yuan (approximately $ 30,000).
In fact, this is not a new modification. The official CFA website shows that the clause has been part of the disciplinary code since 2015, but it has never sparked such controversy.
Netizens said the clause shows “sensitivity to criticism.”
“Does this mean that in the future neither players nor coaches will be able to criticize each other’s performances or unfair penalties? Will they only be able to congratulate each other?” wrote a user on the Chinese social platform Twitter type Sina Weibo.
On the Douban rating platform, the issue’s rating on Roast! increased by 0.1 point in one day.
After the show aired, some netizens said losing a game was a national disgrace and should not be used for fun. Some thought that Chinese soccer players are disappointing as well, so they are not qualified to criticize Chinese basketball, which has a better record.
Others stressed that failure had to be faced head-on, which would facilitate progress in the future.
The state-run Xinhua News Agency posted a comment on Tuesday saying that Chinese football and basketball should not joke about each other’s scars.
âThe person dragged over their scars must be laughing on the show, which is uncomfortable to watch,â Xinhua wrote. “It reminds Chinese fans of the painful memories for laughs.”
However, national television broadcaster CCTV has sided with the show, noting that people are watching it for laughs and it hasn’t broken the results.
“The jokes about basketball and men’s football are not just for today. Through a program, the public is expressing their emotions. The industry should listen to the demands behind that voice, rather than cutting it off,” wrote CCTV on Wednesday.
âIn athletics losing is the original sin. If it’s too embarrassingâ¦ go out on the field and win it back,â said a comment from one user at Sina Weibo, who won âlikesâ many other Internet users.
Some have also defended the CFA rule, arguing that its original intention was not to ban all criticism.
“Contrary to the overwhelming understanding of the public, the rule is not meant to restrict players, but to protect them,” wrote William Aliang, a key opinion leader in sports on Weibo, noting that the code is designed to help players and coaches focus more. on the game instead of emotionally motivated off-field wrangling over the season.
After the Roast! The episode sparked a wide discussion, Fan Zhiyi responded by saying that he hoped his harsh tirade would inspire Chinese male basketball players to improve further.
âI believe that every Chinese person grows up with an emotional connection to Chinese basketball and football. If my bitter words can help them, all of my goals will be achieved.â said the fan.
The day after the episode aired, basketball goalie Guo Ailun, Fan’s roasting target, led his team to a victory in a Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) game. He scored 17 assists in the game, a new career high.