In another example of sports diplomacy, the premier of the People's Republic of China, Chou En-Lai, greeted a football team from Congo-Brazzaville on Saturday (1 May).
In another example of sports diplomacy, the premier of the People's Republic of China, Chou En-Lai, greeted a football team from Congo-Brazzaville on Saturday (1 May). Outside of the well known Chinese ping pong teams, not much has been revealed concerning other sports in which the Chinese participate. On Sunday (2 May), in the massive Peking Stadium, China fielded a football team against Congo-Brazzaville in an exhibition game. The Chinese team, to the surprise of many and the delight of the 100,000 in attendance, beat the visiting team 5-4.
Visnews cameraman Russell Spurr filmed this report of the ceremonies and game in Peking's largest stadium -- the same stadium where Chinese athletes train for possible entry to the Olympic Games.
SYNOPSIS: This massive new stadium in Peking was the scene, on Sunday, of an exhibition football match between a visiting team from Congo-Brazzaville and a team from the People's Republic of China. With one-hundred thousand spectators and extensive radio and television coverage of the match, it seems clear that ping pong is not the only sport of interest to the Chinese.
Many dignitaries were on hand, including the Chinese Chief of General Staff, Hung Yung Sheng. Although Premier Chou En-Lai did not attend the match, he did great the team from Congo-Brazzaville on Saturday, saying that he hoped the sportsmen of Chine and the Congo would help promote friendship between their peoples.
The game itself began with Congo-Brazzaville, in the dark shirts, defending the goal to the right. Chine is doing a great deal to promote its sport teams to the world, but Chinese radio and television are also active in broadcasting sports events to their own audiences.
The two teams appeared to be evenly matched, but China surprised many by keeping the score close through most of the game.
The stadium in which the game was played, Peking's largest, is also being used by athletes training for possible entry to the Olympic Games. Chine is making a strong bid to enter world sports competition, and the outcome of this game may be a clue to the future. The final score -- China five, Congo-Brazzaville four.