FOOTBALL WAS CHINA’S NATIONAL SPORT FOR MILLENNIA. WHY ARE THEY SO BAD NOW? (Podcast)
FOOTBALL WAS CHINA’S NATIONAL SPORT FOR MILLENNIA. WHY ARE THEY SO BAD NOW? by Jeff J Brown – China Rising
I first learned about the long history of Chinese football, when going to a whiskey bar in Beijing, named Cuju (蹴鞠 = cùjū). Funny enough, it was owned by a Moroccan, which only added to the cosmopolitan ambiance of the evening. I had never seen this word in Chinese in my life and when I looked it up and saw that it meant ancient football/soccer, I was intrigued. The owner confirmed to me that he christened his bar Cuju, because he was a passionate lover of the modern game, currently being played at the highest levels of the World Cup in Russia.
While it riles many English people, who are rightfully proud of their contributions to modern football, on July 15th, 2004 FIFA officially declared that the game originated in China (http://ancient-chinese-life.blogspot.com/2011/01/chinese-ancient-football-cuju.html).
Cuju is not the name used in today’s Mandarin for the modern game of football. That would be zúqiú (足球), literally the first character meaning foot and the second meaning ball, making a compound word. Cuju goes back 2,300 years, long before the birth of Christ. While the Chinese were refining the rules of football, the West’s first foreign policy foray was in full force, with Greece’s Alexander raping, enslaving and exterminating entire populations, while plundering their resources in Africa and Asia. His Eurangloland successors are maintaining this proud Western tradition of genocide, exploitation and extraction across the same continents and beyond, in the Americas and Oceania.
Football was developed during the short-lived Qin Dynasty (3rd century BC), where the word China likely comes from. It gained tremendous popularity in the Han Dynasty, which lasted two hundred years before and two centuries after Christ. It was especially popular among the upper class and military. It was also a big hit among the ladies, so take that, Mia Hamm. In the court records, one young woman was so good that she beat an entire men’s team by herself, like some female Sino-Pele. Go girl go!