Chinese Invasion in Sports

Chinese Invasion in Sports

Chinese Invasion in Sports

When we were students, we learned England is the motherland of football. But, in 2014 when we were doing research to prepare study materials for our course “Origin of Sports and Sports Innovations”, we read that more than 2000 years ago football was played in ancient China. FIFA, the top governing body of world football also accepted that claim. They declared Cuju, the Chinese game as the oldest form of football just based on the reference in a military manual dated to the second and third centuries BC. Even though many other countries like Greece, Rome and parts of Central America claimed to have started football, the claim of China was accepted by FIFA.

When we were students, we learned Scotland is the motherland of Golf. But, now many historians argue that Chuiwan, a Chinese game played between the eighth and fourteenth centuries is the progenitor of Golf. We will not wonder even if China claims that Cricket is also originated in China. Why does China claim the parentage of these sports?

In 1995, then British Prime Minister John Major claimed, “We invented the majority of the world’s great sports…. 19th century Britain was the cradle of a leisure revolution every bit as significant as the agricultural and industrial revolutions we launched in the century before.” It is true. Everyone knows sports. Getting parenthood is like winning the hearts of the world. Like we respect many countries for their parenthood and patronage in science, technology and other areas of knowledge, China wants to be the leader in world sports. One way of being a leader is being a father.

The other method China adopts to become the world leader in world sports is investing in world football. Football is the real global game. China has invested in many big football clubs in many countries. These clubs include Manchester City, Athletico Madrid, AC Milan and InterMilan. Why do they invest in these football clubs?

  1. Fans Database- All these clubs have millions of followers on social media. China can sell their political or business propaganda through these social media channels to billions of global football.
  2. Merchandise Sales- Sports merchandise sales is one of the major businesses of sports teams. Most of the teams are/were manufacturing their merchandise in countries like India. If China owns the club that business will go to Chinese companies.


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