Tue, Aug 10, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Chinese are poor losers, Chen says

BAD COMPANY Chen questioned whether China was fit to host the 2008 Olympics after soccer fans became violent amid their Asian Cup loss to Japan

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday questioned whether China was fit to host the 2008 Olympic Games in view of the hostility Chinese fans displayed toward Japan's soccer team at the Asian Cup.

"Given what happened, it seems that Beijing might not be fit to host the 2008 Olympic Games," said Chen, echoing recent remarks made by Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara (石原慎太郎).

Chen was referring to the actions of Chinese fans during the Asian Cup football tournament between China and Japan last Saturday in Beijing. Japan China 3-1 in a tense final overshadowed by the fans' passionate Chinese nationalism and anti-Japanese sentiment due to lingering resentment over Japan's military invasion and brutal occupation of parts of China from 1931 to 1945.

Following the match, hordes of rowdy Chinese crowds burned the Japanese national flag, broke bottles and exchanged kicks and punches with riot police who had been deployed outside the stadium.

Chinese fans reportedly converged on the Japanese team's bus after the match, forcing the bus to depart without two players. Japanese fans attending the match, meanwhile, had to be escorted out of the stadium by riot police.

"These acts showed a lack of sportsmanship and democratic manner," said Chen yesterday, while receiving a delegation of members of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

"Whether it be in sport or any other kind of competition, there are wins and losses," Chen said.

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