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Wear red scarf, fight for children

Chinese national soccer team players and coaches donning red scarves pay a visit to Tsinghua University Primary School on the morning of January 7 in Beijing. Photo: Titan


Chinese soccer fans, who are always embarrassed by their national team’s perennial underachievement, yesterday blushed on a new move from the Chinese football authorities.

All the national team players are supposed to wear red scarves, an item that is part of the uniform of primary school pupils, before a game (excluding FIFA matches) kicks off, in an effort to draw children’s attention. The scarves will be placed in the team’s locker room before the game so as to encourage players to support the cause of youth development, according to a regulation issued by the Chinese Football Association on January 5.

The red scarf (红领巾 hónglǐngjīn) is a ubiquitous sight in Chinas primary schools where most students aged between six and 14 are members of Young Pioneers of China, which is run by the Communist Youth League under the Communist Party of China. New members get their scarves tied for them by existing members in an investiture ceremony.

The new move is seen as an approach to address the problem of poor youth development schemes across the country, which has been blamed for failing to produce competent adult players.

The Chinese soccer sank into a new mire of ridicule and was scorned by Weibo users with many saying that the bewildering move is nothing more than a show off and deriding that the red scarf donning team should play as well as pupils.

@Laoxu Opinion(老徐时评): To attract infants attention, suck a nipple.

@Maoya Zai (猫牙仔) : The Youth Pioneers are of political. Soccer should be set apart from politics.

@Titan Weekly (体坛周报): It is only a suggestion made by a primary school teacher, which has not been accepted yet. Is the online abuse of the Chinese soccer useful? The Chinese soccer should take the blame for its lethargic performance. But we should address the problem instead of going with the flow to vent anger on Weibo.

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