Is China censoring FIFA World Cup amid Covid protests?

Updated on Nov 29, 2022 04:23 PM IST

FIFA World Cup: China's state broadcaster CCTV replaced close-up shots of fans in the stadium with images of players, officials, or the stadium.

FIFA World Cup: Fans watch Portugal v Uruguay.(Reuters)
FIFA World Cup: Fans watch Portugal v Uruguay.(Reuters)

China's state broadcaster is cutting close-up shots of maskless fans at the football World Cup as protests against strict Covid-19 measures rage across the country, a report said.

Read more: Chinese police checking people’s phones for Twitter amid Covid protests: Report

As thousands of people in China have taken to the streets in a rare show of defiance against the government and its "zero-Covid" policy, the country has placed millions of people under strict restrictions and implemented mass testing amid record infections.

During a live broadcast of Sunday's match between Japan and Costa Rica, China's state broadcaster CCTV replaced close-up shots of fans in the stadium with images of players, officials, or the stadium, AFP reported.

Read more: Players must ‘behave’, Iran tells families of FIFA team amid protests: Report

CCTV Sports showed long shots of the stadium crowd where it was difficult to make out individual faces. Images of maskless fans enjoying the World Cup in Qatar stadiums have frustrated many in China as they point out the difference between Beijing and the world.

China is the last major economy to impose lockdowns and lengthy quarantines for its residents. Protests continued in the streets of Beijing and Shanghai as demonstrators called for president Xi Jinping to resign.

Despite the widespread protests, Chinese authorities have affirmed their commitment to a severe “zero-Covid” strategy.

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