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China’s central TV has skipped major football matches from its programming, because of continued violence. Football expert Rowan Simons explains in AP why football is different from for example Olympic sports.
Violence is always an issue with football, he argues.

“In football, the issue of violence is always present,” said Rowan Simons, an Englishman and 20-year resident of China, who has worked as a TV analyst in Chinese. “China is not unusual in player fights. But it does seem to be more endemic here.”
Simons said developing top football players was more difficult than finding Olympic gold medalists.”
Many of the Olympic sports are minority sports. It’s possible to manufacture world champions in those sports. Football is the world’s most popular game and the competition is fierce.”…
“The Chinese have tried to replicate the elite level of football they see in Europe without seeing that underneath it is a huge infrastructure of community clubs which have been there for generations,” Simons said. “You can’t create an elite model of football without a grassroots model. The Chinese just don’t have the raw number of people involved in the game to produce a competitive team at the national level.”

More at the International Herald Tribune (using AP).

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Rowan Simons is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. If you are interested in hearing more from him, do get in touch.

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