A series of promo posters released by the Chinese Football Association (CFA), including one telling fans not to underestimate Hong Kong’s “diverse” team of players with “black skin, yellow skin and white skin”, have been called out as being odd and just plain offensive.
The posters were published to the CFA’s official Weibo account and were apparently meant to be funny, but have come across as strange to football fans (and the translations don’t help).
Don’t underestimate any opponent. This team has black skin, yellow skin and white skinned people. Playing a team with such diverse background, you’d better be prepared. (China vs. Hong Kong)
SCMP points out that the posters may not be well received by Hong Kong players Jaimes Mckee or Christian Annan, born in England and Ghana respectively. The CFA, however, insists that it is merely highlighting Hong Kong’s open and inclusive environment that allowed it to form such an international team.
Don’t underestimate any opponent. Hearing their coach say they want to beat China to secure second place in the group. Playing a team with so much confidence, you’d better be prepared. (China vs. Maldives)
CFA is apparently referring to a quote from the coach of the Maldives team, who said: “Our goal is very clear—to do our very best to beat the Chinese team at the home games”.
Don’t underestimate any opponent. After the games, a player from their team will go back to fly an airplane. Playing a team like this, you’d better be prepared. (China vs. Bhutan)
CFA points out that the captain of the Bhutan team is a pilot, saying “All the planes entering Bhutan are flown by Druk Air. Maybe the plane that the Chinese team takes will flown by their player!”
Don’t underestimate any opponent. Everyone knows that they have many naturalized reinforcements. Playing such a wealthy team, you’d better be prepared. (China vs. Qatar)
This one refers to Qatar’s financial ability to hire several foreign players, which, according to CFA, makes them the Chinese team’s strongest opponent.
The Hong Kong Premier League responded with a parody poster, which it posted on the official Facebook page of the Hong Kong Football Association this afternoon.
it reads: “[Don’t let others look down on us] Our football team has people of different colours—black, yellow and white—who all come together to win for Hong Kong. Stand firm no matter what! Two days away from our first World Cup match against Bhutan!—go on the pitch to fight for our people! #Supportourpeople #HKFIGHT #2018WorldCupQualifers”
The four teams, Hong Kong, Qatar, Bhutan and Maldives are in the same World Cup qualifying group as China. Starting from yesterday, the Chinese team has been practicing twice a day and will be heading to Thailand this Saturday and Bhutan on Sunday.
[Images via CFA’s Weixin page]
By Sharon Choi