Some officials say it's time to rethink the ink

Updated 2018-03-27 10:48:04 China Daily

The Chinese Football Association is remaining tight-lipped on reports that it is considering a ban on players displaying tattoos after members of the national team were apparently asked to cover up their body art during Thursday's 6-0 China Cup loss to Wales in Nanning.

After the game, China Sports Daily reported that the CFA had issued a ban on body art in a bid to improve soccer's image here.

The newspaper also said the CFA regulations would not be restricted to the national team and could affect youth leagues nationwide.

When contacted by China Daily, the CFA denied the report. However, a senior CFA official had earlier told media that it was responsible for creating a healthy soccer culture in China and the improvement of Chinese soccer should be "comprehensive".

The news has sparked heated debate on social media, with those for the ban holding up the tattooless soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as a shining example to support their argument.

Those against point to his rival, Lionel Messi, whose tattoos have done nothing to diminish the worldwide esteem the Barcelona ace commands.

In 2012, Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo revealed he avoids tattoos because he "donates blood very often." After being newly inked, a person has to wait around four months to donate blood.

The 33-year-old Ronaldo has been a blood and bone marrow donor since he was 24 after being touched by the case of former Portugal teammate Carlos Martins' son, who regularly required transfusions and was in need of a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with leukemia at age 3.

Many senior figures in Chinese soccer have long expressed their dislike of tattoos.

Former national team captain Jia Xiuquan banned tattoos when he was the coach of China's Under-19 side.

Xu Genbao, the "Godfather of Shanghai soccer" who played for and managed the national team, has also decreed a zero-tolerance policy on body art.

"Players who dye hair or have tattoos would be banned from playing on my team, and those who don't change are kicked out," said Xu.

"I understand that young people want to show their character, but it can be done with scoring, not with tattoos."

Another former Team China captain, Fan Zhiyi, concurred.

"Why do players have to have tattoos?" he said. "The priority is to play quality soccer games. Will tattoos make them into better soccer players?"

Critics of the reported ban, point to the fact that numerous international stars such as David Beckham and Messi have sported tattoos throughout their careers without any negative consequence.

One of Beckham's tattoos is of an old Chinese proverb, and Zhao Zhen, a reporter with Soccer News, wrote on Weibo: "Do you know which part was the most interesting thing for students of Peking University when Beckham came there to do a speech?

"It was his Chinese tattoos. When he showed his tattoo, there was even a Chinese traditional music show prepared for him."

The likes of Gao Lin and Wei Shihao used bandages to hide their tattoos in the China Cup loss to Wales, and Beijing Youth Daily speculated that the possible ban might eventually create demand for specially tailored jerseys that would cover body art.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58January 18 2019 20:09:44

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16January 18 2019 20:09:44

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18January 18 2019 20:09:44

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords