A superstitious top-tier Chinese team repainted their entire stadium gold to bring better luck following a dismal run — and this week duly celebrated a fifth big home win on the bounce.
Guangzhou R&F last month took the drastic action believing that gold made for better feng shui than blue, the color of the Chinese Super League (CSL) team’s strip, badge and originally its home ground, too.
It followed a rotten sequence of just one home win in four months.
However, since painstakingly repainting their 20,000-capacity Yuexiushan Stadium in the middle of last month, the team in southern China have seen their fortunes dramatically reverse.
On Wednesday, they beat Fabio Capello’s big-spending Jiangsu Suning 4-2 at home to climb to third in the CSL and make it four home wins on the trot in the CSL, scoring 18 goals in the process.
They also beat city rivals Guangzhou Evergrande in a home cup game.
“After we changed the color of our home stadium, we got five wins and a high goal-scoring rate as well,” R&F coach Dragan Stojkovic said on the team’s Web site.
“I think this is what the fans want to see — beautiful offensive [soccer],” Stojkovic added.
“The gold color of our home stadium is pretty nice, no need to change it now,” the Serbian former international added.
The philosophy of feng shui — literally meaning “wind water” — is influential in many parts of Asia, where people carefully position items in offices and homes to maximize luck and wealth.
An influx of soccer players to India from Australia has highlighted changing fortunes as the Indian Super League (ISL) flourishes and the A-League hits lean times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just two Australians played in the Indian Super League last year, but 10 were among the 11 teams when the competition got under way in a bio-secure “bubble” in Goa last week. Non-Australian A-League players have also made the move, including English striker Adam Le Fondre — last season’s second-highest goal-scorer with Sydney FC — along with German defender Matti Steinman and Aaron Holloway of Wales. Much of the change is down to
‘YOU’RE CHAMPIONS’: Pope Francis told the NBA delegation that they had become models of teamwork, while remaining humble and preserving their own humanity Pope Francis on Monday met with NBA players at the Vatican, lauding them as “champions” and saying he supported their work on social justice. The five players — Marco Belinelli, Sterling Brown, Jonathan Isaac, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver — were joined in the delegation by National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts and two other union executives, Sherrie Deans and Matteo Zuretti. “We’re here because, frankly, we’re inspired by the work that you do globally,” Roberts told the pope during the meeting in the Vatican Apostolic Library. The union said that the players spoke about their “individual and collective efforts addressing
‘ONE LAST APPLAUSE’: An homage of cheers resounded through Buenos Aires on Wednesday night, while earlier a contingent met at the Obelisk to remember their hero Stunned Argentines were on Wednesday plunged into grief by the death of the country’s favorite son Diego Maradona, a sublimely gifted sporting hero they saw as “the most human of gods.” The news fell like a hammer blow to a nation beaten down by months of economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, but one where soccer is seen as a panacea for all ills. At 10pm, Buenos Aires exploded in cheers, horns, sirens and lights for the man who famously wore the No. 10, after a viral social media message called for “one last applause.” The homage resounded throughout the night in all
Taiwan Steel on Sunday defeated Hang Yuan 3-1 to clinch the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) title with a match to spare after Taipower were held to a 1-1 draw by National University of Sport. The victory saw Tainan achieve the rare achievement of being “double champions” after the Uni-President Lions baseball team won the CPBL championship earlier this month against the CTBC Brothers. Turks and Caicos striker Marc Fenelus powered a header into the top corner to give the league leaders an early lead over Hang Yuan in New Taipei City. Just before the hour mark, Hang Yuan defender Hsu Yi fouled