Months before the start of their qualifier game for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the battle between the Chinese and Hong Kong teams is already raging – in the promotional posters for the matches.
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has stirred up controversy by coming up with posters that critics say are not only bizzare but also sarcastic and racist, am730 reported on Wednesday.
China has been drawn into the group that includes Hong Kong, the Maldives, Qatar and Bhutan for the second qualifier round for Asia.
The CFA has designed different posters for the matches, with the accompanying message tailored for each of its opponents.
In the poster for the match with Hong Kong, the message goes: “Do not underestimate the opponent. This is a team with black, yellow and white skinned players, a diverse team that we must prepare for.”
In the Maldives poster, it is suggested that the opponents are living in a dream as they are hoping to beat China, while the one on Qatar insinuates that it is like an uneducated billionaire who throws away money to recruit players and have them naturalized to play for the Gulf state.
The posters were widely circulated on social media, and many netizens quickly lambasted the Chinese team for coming up with offensive messages.
Some even suggested that the teams offended by the posters should file formal complaints with the FIFA.
Unfortunately, the world’s governing body for the sport is embroiled in its own controversy, a raging corruption scandal.
In response to the CFA poster, the Hong Kong Super League, which is under the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA), came up with its own promotional material, which it posted to its Facebook page.
In the poster, the HKFA calls on the Hong Kong team to unite and not be looked down upon.
Although the players may have come from different races, they share a common goal of doing their best for Hong Kong, the poster says.
The poster received over 10,000 likes from local netizens, with many praising the HKFA for “having the backbone” to uphold the Hong Kong team’s dignity.
The match between China and Hong Kong is scheduled for September.
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