London's bookish Charing Cross Road may not be illustrious for its football supporters, but a Chinese couple caught my eye, highly fobbish, in their early 20's, both kitted out in matching Steven Gerrard Liverpool Football shirts. The idiosyncratic manner in which these types of Chinese worship English or non-Asian football teams with religiose fervour is a reflection of their failed Chinese consciousness in shunning their own domestic leagues, teams and players in the Far East.
During a recent visit to the Far East, one attended a Hong Kong Division One Football match, attendance was visibly low, lower than Scottish Division 3 League matches (that's saying something), the sports news bulletins show similar low attendance for all matches across Hong Kong, however when an 'English' team tours the Far East, we see quite a different reaction from the local Chinese.
Arsenal and Liverpool have just ended their pre-season training tours playing local teams in Asia.
A simple examination of the crowds in the photographs reveal local Asian's overwhelmingly wearing English shirts energetically spurring on their favourite English clubs to defeat their own Asian teams. Yet, do we ever see White Brits supporting China over England in sporting competitions? Do we ever see White British couples sauntering down Charing Cross Road in matching Yao Ming (before his retirement) shirts? Do we ever see a huge army of White British fans egging on Marco Fu or Ding Junhui to crush Ronnie O'Sullivan? The answer is an unequivocal no.
The Chinese couple spotted in Charing Cross Road may have an excuse - they're in the UK, however Asian's residing in the Far East supporting English football without equivocation are completely illogical, even more so in consideration of the fact they have no White English friends, do not have a firm grasp of the English language, have never visited the UK nor the city of Liverpool, nor are there any Chinese players contracted to play for any of these Premiership teams touring the Far East. So why do Chinese support England and English Football club teams?
Reasons for Asian Chinese fanaticism of English football
One would be hard pressed to explain 'Asian Odds' gambling, football comes first, gambling comes second, rather there's a more simpler superficial explanation...
In 2007, Warwick Business School conducted market research on Chinese football fans on behalf of the English Football Association. Their findings...
"Interest among Chinese fans in international football (78.01%) vs Chinese local football (31.24%)"
"In major tournaments where China was not present, 96.3% of Chinese supported England"
"Chinese fans were drawn to English football because of the players' glamorous lifestyles and their WAGS."
"England team shirt is the most popular football shirt seen in China followed by Manchester United and Brazil"