A Bulgarian student studying in Beijing who was not allowed to take part in a university football competition posted a heartfelt plea asking the organizers to reconsider on Weibo which immediately went viral.
The student, named “Gougou” in Chinese, is studying at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. An avid football player, Gougou is a member of his university’s football team and has been training with them for nearly four years.
Last year he played with his team in the Beijing City University Football League, but this year to his surprise found out that foreign students would not be allowed to enter the competition.
The underlined text says: “In accordance with nationwide university student competition rules, foreign students are not allowed to participate in the competition.”
Not willing to roll over and accept the situation, Gougou took to Weibo to plead his case to Chinese netizens, eventually posting the following entry.
It reads: “Hello everybody, I’m Gougou, an overseas student at University of International Business and Economics. I’ve been training and competing with my campus football team for several years now, but today I received a notice that prohibits me from taking part in the upcoming competition. I hope everyone can help us overseas students and let us enjoy equality with our Chinese classmates!”
In the post he tagged the Beijing education authorities and the newspaper China Daily. At time of writing the post has been shared over 14,000 times and accrued over 2000 likes. Netizens commenting on the post were generally supportive of his statement, agreeing that it was silly not to allow foreigners to take part in sport.
His new-found popularity, however, might not be completely down to his struggle for equality. Female netizens quickly found some of the other content he had uploaded to Weibo.
At present the most liked comment on his post, with over 500 likes, reads: “So handsome, plays football, proficient at Chinese, tall and well built. I can help you share this post, but first, you need to tell me if you have a girlfriend…”
Gougou is only the latest foreigner to make a name for himself on Weibo. A few weeks ago an American who had his iPhone stolen and end up in the hands of ‘Brother Orange’ in China rapidly gained a huge Weibo following after setting up his own account.
By Dominic Jackson