Chinese state television has censored World Cup games to remove footage of mask-less crowds after scenes of jubilant fans celebrating in packed stadiums fueled anger at home, where hundreds of millions of people remain under strict pandemic restrictions.
A well-attended opening ceremony in Qatar – without any social distancing – prompted users on Chinese social media platforms to complain that it contrasted with the severe isolation they felt under President Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy.
Chinese netizens said it was “strange” to see hundreds of thousands of people gather in a carnival-like atmosphere, but they were still forced to live under a strange system that most countries had abandoned long ago.
Official Global Times newspaper he admitted some fans “chose to watch the games at home with their families” due to Covid restrictions, which have discouraged people from gathering to watch the tournament.
Directed by Mark Dreyer China Sports Insider blognoted that games broadcast on state-run China Central Television (CCTV) were edited to avoid live footage of the crowd and instead showed close-ups of players and coaches.
“Of course, there will be times when you still see crowd tackles – wider shots, a cut after some goals would have been too jarring, etc.” He wrote on Twitter🇧🇷 “But there is clearly a decline.”
In sports tournaments, broadcasters are usually given the opportunity by the organizers to choose their own camera angles and can set a delay to quickly edit the game before the public sees it.
The author of Sporting Superpower: An Insider’s View on China’s Quest to Be the Best, said such “advanced censorship” is not a new policy for Beijing. “Chinese broadcasters are wary of filming crowds at international sporting events, for example, over what might appear to be Tibetan flags,” he said.
The FIFA World Cup comes at a particularly explosive time for China, just weeks after Xi secured his historic third term in power. The number of coronavirus cases has reached a record high, prompting more lockdowns in cities across the country. Beijing has defended its policy as life-saving and necessary to avoid overburdening the health care system.
But in the last few days Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with the police in Shanghai on limitations. Such a wave of civil disobedience has been rare in mainland China in the past decade, and Xi has clamped down on any public display of dissent.
Leave a Comment