Shenyang soccer fans were left somewhat disappointed last night after an hour-long extravaganza to celebrate China's first entry into the World Cup was cancelled and a simple 20-minute ceremony was conducted in its place. However, Dalian, the team's home city, lifted a ban on the use of firecrackers, while restaurants and bars across the country prepared for a bumper night. The China Football Association said the Government had decided to hold back on celebrations until after China's final qualifying match against Uzbekistan on October 19. Workers at the stadium were apparently told on Saturday afternoon to dismantle platforms and musical equipment that had been brought from Beijing on Thursday. 'We will organise the festivities after the return from Uzbekistan,' a spokesman for the association said. 'We did not want something so big at this stage.' A planned bonfire party at the Lu Dao Hotel in Shenyang, where the team is staying, was also cancelled. However, the Dalian city Government announced earlier yesterday that it would lift a ban on the use of firecrackers for one day if China qualified. Channel Five of state television began a special broadcast devoted to the game and cancelled two news broadcasts and other scheduled programmes. In Beijing, preparations for the big game got under way early yesterday. Major universities installed TVs in classrooms for students and bars and restaurants cancelled musical and dance performances and replaced them with big-screen televisions. They stocked up on food, alcohol and national flags well in advance. Travellers were also thought of and Beijing railway station erected a giant screen and aired the game. Three hundred police were assigned to keep the crowd under control.