Fans of a French football club has formed a giant Tibetan flag and a word, ‘Free Tibet’ in the stadium on Saturday. The support and solidarity for the Tibetan people from these football lovers in France has disappointed the Chinese government. The supporters announced that they have protested to ‘Free Tibet’ and ‘Free Ligue 1’ tournament from Chinese influence.
During the Saturday’s French Ligue 1 match between Lyon and Nantes, fans on one section of the stadium carried out coloured plates to form a giant Tibetan flag wherein a word, ‘Free Tibet’ was written. The protest was provoked when the kick-off to the match was postponed to 1.30 in the afternoon in order to broadcast it live in China.
“The display was coordinated by supporters of Lyon who declared that it was a protest against the league’s crass market-oriented approach which targets viewers all the way across the world while aggravating those at home with irregular start times.” said the report by the Shanghaiist.
The French Ligue 1 is one of the most followed football tournaments in China, just behind the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga. However, the home fans are not happy with the purely commercial oriented approach.
The fan group’s official Facebook page also stated explained their intent of the protest. They said that the protest was against what they called a “pure market approach”. It said, “Beyond the crypto-politique aspect of this tifo, our will is especially today to remind everyone that spectators and supporters are full actors of the match and that we owe them more respect than to any others viewers.”