The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has apologized over a controversial series of promo posters, including one warning fans not to underestimate Hong Kong’s “black-, yellow- and white-skinned” players, following a flurry of online backlash. And by “apologize”, of course we mean “blamed some French designer” for the mishap.
Liu Xiaohua, vice chairman of the CFA, offered an explanation about the posters over the phone, according to Brian Leung Hung-tak, chairman of the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA).
As to why an official apology was not published on the CFA’s website, Leung answered, “This is how it works for us … we [Leung and Lin] are very close.”
The CFA claims that it was not aware of the promo posters’ content before they were released. They were reportedly developed by a French designer from a Chinese advertising agency and published without the approval of the CFA’s management.
According to Liu, the designer’s initial goal was to emphasize Hong Kong as an international city, and he never intended for them to be offensive.
The HKFA was hoping the apology would squash any hard feelings among Hong Kong fans, but it appears as though it may have only added fuel to the flames.
“Which Frenchman has such fluency in Chinese to design those slogans? Bring him out and I’ll believe!” one netizen wrote in response to an article published in The Standard.
Others accused the CFA of lying, saying, “China is a country known for its censorship, why would they not screen their posters before they were released?”
Leung himself said he didn’t find the posters offensive or racist. However, he has urged fans to not boo the national anthem before another match, fearing that it could lead to FIFA punishing the team.
[Image via Ifeng]
By Sharon Choi