“China is using Eastern European countries to become a legitimate superpower again”
OUR VALUES IN RISK: Expert Simon Chadwick talks about the vast presence of Chinese sponsors in international football.
Group photo with trophies: UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, flanked by European Championship sponsors Jack Ma, head of Chinese payment service Alipay (left), and Eric Jing, president of Ant Financial (right).
In EM, many Chinese sponsors are amazed at attracting attention with their outdoor advertising. How popular is European football in China?
Football in China is a sport that only a minority are interested in. But in a European comparison, this minority is, of course, huge. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there were 15,000 British fans when England reached the semi-finals. And 60,000 Chinese football tourists came to watch matches, visit the Kremlin, eat and shop – all despite the fact that China didn’t even qualify for the World Cup.