Football fan cries foul in court

15:05, June 24, 2010      

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A disgruntled football fan is taking his disappointment with the Chinese national side into a court of law, asking Chongwen district court to order the team to qualify for the next World Cup.

Chen Fengfeng, a lawyer in Sichuan province, mailed his complaint to the court on Tuesday because it is located in the neighborhood that also houses the headquarters of the Chinese Football Association.

Chen said the court should receive his letter on Thursday and will decide whether to listen to the case within seven days.

The issue flared as the 2010 World Cup reached its halfway point in terms of matches.

Chen contends that the Chinese national side has a contract with fans because they are paid a salary and he says the team has a responsibility to qualify for the World Cup.

Indeed, Chen wants more than simple qualification for the next World Cup: he is asking the judge to order the team to be one of the world's best eight sides.

However, Chen admits it is highly unlikely that the case will make it before a judge.

"I only want the national team to know our fans' discontent and it is also a way to show my concern to the national team," Chen told METRO.

Communication between the national team and its fans is non-existent, he complained and the complaint is a way to express disappointment, Chen said.

"The lawsuit is also an expression of my humor," Chen added. "Our national team cannot bring happiness to fans because it is absent for the World Cup and I did this as a way to bring happiness to the fans."

Criticism of the national team flooded the Internet following a match between DPR Korea and Brazil on June 15 in which the DPR Koreans lost by a single goal and actually managed to score against the mighty Brazilian side. The online critics complained that China has never managed to be as competitive as its Asian neighbors.

However, other China football fans said the national side has already begun to improve and that fans should get behind the team.

"We should be patient with the national team. It is not a short-term return but a long-term investment to attend the World Cup," said Miao Ji, a 28-year-old man working in Beijing.

Xu Yue, a 25-year-old ex-soccer player in the capital, said it is understandable that someone might want to sue the national team, but such a gesture is meaningless and not recommended.

Xu said fans are dissatisfied with the Chinese players' work ethic, not their technical ability.

"DPR Korea is only a vent for fans' emotions," Xu said.

Source: China Daily


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