The Chinese national football team sank to a new level of shame with a 5-1 defeat to Thailand in Hefei on Saturday.
While the team was already undergoing something of a rough patch this loss has sent commentators and fans into a mixture of shock and disgust at their national team’s performance.
While a 5-1 margin of defeat at home is humiliating in its own right, the fact that Thailand was fielding seven players from their under-21 squad makes China’s loss totally inexcusable.
The results sent the Chinese media into an angry frenzy. Xinhua bemoaned that “Chinese football has wasted an opportunity for a ‘rebirth’ once again,” while Southern Metropolis Daily went as far as saying that “15 June 2013 is destined to become a very dark day in the history of Chinese football.”
Danwei reports that fans shouted “disband the national team” as they showed their rightful scorn at players’ poor performance an perceived lack of spirit. According to Beijing Cream, fans threw bottles at the players as they left the pitch, and later rioted outside the stadium. The BBC reports that “over 100 people were injured and many cars were destroyed in ensuing clashes with police.”
The current coach for the men’s team Jose Antonio Camacho has received the majority of the blame for this loss. After the 5-1 defeat, fans clamoured for the resignation of a man who has done little for the team in his two years as coach. As SCMP explains, during Camacho’s time as coach China failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and the team has dropped 26 spots in the FIFA World Rankings, currently standing at 95th in the world. Due to contract obligations the coach cannot be fired for his poor performances but hopefully being the most vilified man in Chinese sports may incite Camacho to leave China on his own accord soon.
[Image credit: Xinhua]