China Cup

Online football fans react as tattoos suddenly become taboo for the China national team

The backlash against the controversial ruling by the Chinese football authorities begins

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 3:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 March, 2018, 3:15pm

The Chinese Football Association became targets of the countries fans yet again after reports emerged saying tattoos were banned among national team players.

During the opening China Cupmatch against tourists Wales, Chinese players had clearly covered their tattoos using bandages during the 6-0 humiliation in Nanning, including strikers Gao Lin and Wei Shihao and midfielder He Chao.

A report by Titan Sports soccer reporter Xiao Liangzhi said he learned from reliable sources inside the Football Association that national team players had been banned from displaying their tattoos in international games as the authorities stepped up efforts to introduce a healthy culture education programme. And this will extend soon to the Chinese Super League.

There were also reports saying another first-team regular, Zhang Linpeng of Guangzhou Evergrande, was dropped, not because of injury as it was claimed, but because he sports too many tattoos that he could not cover like the trio.

The defender is also known for his heavily tattooed body.

Tatt’s your lot: Chinese Football Association bans players from showing their ink during matches

One online fan had a message for the CFA,“I hate to see men wearing earrings and tattoos but I still want to say one thing: this is none of your business.” Another said, “We can win because our players have no tattoos.”

“Can we say ‘no’ to the Football Association?” another online commenter said.

Sina Sports carried a story on Zhang, saying former China international Fan Zhiyi advised Zhang four years ago that the player should get rid of the tattoos on his arms saying Zhang was a player who could display a lot of “positive energy” and tattoos might affect Zhang’s as sponsors may not approach him.

But fans seem to disagree.

“I have no idea of any relationship between tattoos and soccer skills. The Football Association must be eating too much and cannot think straight,” said one fan online, while another wrote: “The Football Association only care about the least important matters and never touch the core factors at the centre of long-term development.”

Of course, not all netizens are against the ruling.

“Many people would agree tattoos are not something that need to be boasted about and is associated with triads in society. Soccer players are public figures and carry a social responsibility and should not display tattoos,” one fan said.