51 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

John Yan: Creating order with Iron Fists 铁拳捶不出秩序

It was a nasty video, the link been posted on my weibo (Chinese version of twitter, but under governance for sure) account for several hours, and with quite a few football supporters impatiently asking me to take a look.

They were desperate for any help.

I receive similar links to all kinds of complaints or protests, almost every day, and I was becoming tired and bored with this stuff. Most of these links disappear overnight, due to propaganda discipline or just that they were fabricated. However, ten hours after the match, the video was still on the weibo website, and even today, the video is still there:

http://video.weibo.com/show?fid=1034:fd755cfc2eb79d381936e97dfcca2d6d

I don’t know how they could allow the video to exist publicly, it is almost a miracle, but it is still there, and it has already been proved the content is not false.

The policeman, in the light blue uniform, and the police assistants, those guys in black uniforms, beat and kicked the football fan with such hatred, that the scene makes you cringe with fear – earing for the life of the fan, fearing for the healthiness of this China Super League, fearing for the future of this sport in China.

It happened on June 27 at an evening league match between Jiangsu Shuntian and Shanghai Shenhua – the severe beating took place less than half an hour after the final whistle. One of the watching Jiangsu supporters used his mobile phone to record how one of his fellow Jiangsu supporters was beaten to half-consciousness.

It was a bad defeat for Jiangsu, the home team, and the fans had been calling for the sacking of head coach, Gao Hongbo, but the fans were not calling for ‘his head’, the protests were demonstrated in proper and even humorous ways.

However, the policemen on site and their assistants, guys in black, had orders that the stadium must be cleared half an hour after the match. After a 1:4 home defeat, there were groups of fans in some stands who didn’t want to leave immediately, they wanted to express their frustrations, they wanted the club to know their feelings.

Then havoc broke out, or should I say, half-havoc, because it was all in a one-way direction: the SECURITY guys beating up the fans. The badly beaten fan was later taken to hospital for emergency treatment. The club GM did pay a visit to the hospital, but everything turns to be quiet and quite afterwards.

Some fans messaged me through weibo, talking about future protests ‘with feet’. As the police and higher authorities are so nervous about any open public gathering, the fans would rather ‘clear the stands’ beforehand, leaving the stands empty for future home matches. However, I doubt this kind of protest would work – Newcastle United fans protests failed with this kind of action. And fans staying away definitely makes the police and Big Brothers happier.

There are no Ultras in China’s football for the moment, as the society is still in the process of loosening up from the state’s grip, mentally and physically. Small sized skirmishes have happened before, but very rarely, and the idea of groups of fans fighting with the police in any stadiums in China is unthinkable. Stadiums in the CSL might not be as polite and clean as the Japanese leagues, but fans are so well behaved they would make English fans yawn.

The police force is not well trained nor prepared for any kind of standoff in stands, their assistants, even less trained – they were hounds looking for action. Nobody tried to understand the suffering of the football fans, and a lack of communication turned this into a horrible scene.

Compared to our European fore-runners, the tragedy in Jiangsu’s stand is just a sad small case, but orders from Iron Fists will never solve problems in stands. What violence gets, is simply more violence.

John Yan is Deputy Editor of Netease.com.

铁拳捶不出秩序

一位身穿22号蓝色球衣的球迷,被摁在看台上,一群黑色保安冲上去,暴拳怒捶,其中两位出拳的速度和力量,仿佛怒火在腾腾燃烧。在这之前,一位身穿浅蓝色制服的执法人员,伸腿力踹这名球迷。旁边有不少穿着蓝色球衣的舜天球迷,起初有人上前,想将被殴打者拖开,结果被保安们轰走。被捶打球迷,后来被保安们拖出画面之外。

更远高处的一位球迷,用自己的手机,拍摄下了这惊人的一幕。

如果不是球迷将现场拍摄下来的视频上传到社交媒体,我不敢想象这样的画面会出现在中超赛场。如果这不是真实的画面,不可能在上传四十八小时后,画面依然存在,清晰而慑人。就在6月27日的深夜,好几名江苏舜天的球迷,通过私信方式,情绪激动、不能自已,让我看看这段视频,希望我能帮着说几句。我一般不太接触这种矛盾事件,直到第二天清晨,才打开这段视频。

谁要是不断翻看这样的视频,只会坚定以后不去现场看球。场面的混乱尚在其次,保安和执法人员,对于球迷的暴捶,会让你觉得为了足球而承担这样的暴虐,实在不值得。足球不可能高于生死,人的生命安全和尊严,当然要比足球重要,然而这一段视频看完,你会怀疑那位身穿22号球衣的球迷,还剩下多少尊严?他的生命安全,在遭遇连番暴捶之后,都受到了严重威胁。

可惜我只能看到这一段画面,而无从知晓前因后果。这名球迷不可能绝对无辜,现场的保安和执法者,也不可能都是黑社会暴力男。冲突如何形成,至今我也看不到完整的说明和解释,从赛后报道看,中超第16轮,舜天主场1比4不敌上海上港,”……南京奥体中心看台上,赛后不愿退场的球迷,与场地负责安保的人员发生了激烈的肢体冲突。根据部分球迷拍摄的现场视频显示,有球迷在这次冲突中受伤,有人甚至吐血不止……”

许多球迷在主队失败之后不愿离场,他们大声高唱着球迷歌曲,以各种方式表达着对俱乐部以及主教练高洪波的不满。”……见大批球迷迟迟不肯离场,安保也走上看台试图将球迷们劝离,两方很快发生了争执。在安保强行将球迷团体的领喊人员拖开后,双方爆发肢体冲突……”

事后,俱乐部总经理去到医院看望球迷,然而6月28日凌晨2点,俱乐部官微的表态,却让人莫名其妙:”……球队遭遇本赛季首次主场失利之后,惊闻赛后发生球迷被打流血事件,俱乐部对此深感痛心和遗憾,我们对受伤球迷致以诚挚的慰问,并将积极协调相关部门尽快作出公平公正处理……”总经理都去了医院,哪里还来”惊闻”之说?眼见的难道也非事实。

即便球迷在现场有过激言行,除非真的上演到足球流氓、暴力袭警的程度,保安以及那位力踹球迷的执法行为,他们的暴捶举止,才是让人无法接受的。我很难相信,舜天乃至任何中超赛场的球迷,已经暴烈到了足球流氓的高度。言行不得体,肯定存在,但是需要维持秩序者,以如实残暴的力捶来惩罚吗?

以暴制暴,或许会是未来出现的理由,那些黑衣保安,也很可能被解释为”临时工”——如果对此事件有任何机构愿意追究调查的话。可是球场秩序的维护,暴力是穷技,缺乏行业素质、缺乏对球迷基本尊重的保安和执法者,他们对赛场秩序带来的危害,有可能比过激球迷还重。

现代足球史上出现过的惨案,有1985年欧冠决赛海瑟尔因为足球流氓引发的,更有1989年希尔斯堡惨案,因为英国警方严重缺乏应急能力、粗暴蛮横对待球迷的。足球流氓必须严惩,但这样的严惩不应该是现场暴力。挥起拳头的人,是最愚蠢的人。

更何况那些蓝色的舜天球迷,我不相信他们恶劣到了足球流氓的地步,哪怕他们很多现场举止行为,未必能赢得人们尊重。合理地经营联赛、保护球迷,需要所有者、管理者、秩序维持者,以更好的沟通态度和理解心态,来营造一个良性氛围。拳头挥起来、捶下去,宣泄的暴力,得到的会是更多暴力,赶走的是那些真心热爱足球、热爱积极生活的人。