Tibet Flag Row Makes China Suspend Its Germany Football Tour

After the Tibet flag incident at the friendly match between local German club TSV Schott Mainz and the Chinese U-20 team last Saturday in Mainz, China now suspends the rest of its tour in Germany. The China U-20 team was scheduled to play friendly matches with German clubs during their free weekends as a part of their training.

“A tour of Germany by China’s under-20 men’s football team has been suspended after their first match was met with protests. The remaining games in Germany will be postponed, the German Football Association said, after a group of protesters unfurled Tibetan flags causing the Chinese team to walk off the pitch. The association has not given a date for the rescheduled games.” said the report in the Guardian today.

Last Saturday, during the China U-20’s friendly match with TSV Schott Mainz in Germany, a group six fans unfurled the Tibet flag in the venue. Since the match was being live streamed in China too, the Chinese players walked out of play. The incident stopped the game for around 15 minutes, after the demonstrators pulled back the flags the game resumed.

However, two days later the Chinese government called on Germany over the incident saying that they should provide a mutual respect. The Vice President of German Football Association, Ronny Zimmermann said “We cannot ban the protests, there is the right to freedom of expression here and certain rules apply,” according to the report.

”However, we also want to be good hosts and as a result we are not happy with this incident.” he added.

“It has been made clear to the Chinese federation that when you play in Germany you also have to deal with the fact that anyone can express their opinion.” Reinhard Grindel, president of the German Football Association said in response to Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang who called on the host to express their opposition to any “separatist, anti-China or terrorist activities”.

TJ editor

Editor at Tibetan Journal

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