Zero-Covid China asks: Is World Cup on another planet?
By Kerry Allen
Chinese state media have given huge attention to the World Cup this week, but the matches are fuelling frustrations that people in the country are being left out of the celebrations.
On top of China's men's national team not qualifying for the event, scenes of maskless celebrations and raucous gatherings in Qatar have irritated viewers, who have been discouraged from gathering to watch the games.
Many have used the World Cup to complain online about China's existing strategies. The country maintains a zero-Covid policy, where entire communities are locked down over single cases of the virus, in order to prevent it from spreading.
China is currently experiencing its worst outbreak in six months, and localised lockdowns have surged over the last couple of weeks. In the past 24 hours, China has recorded more than 28,000 new cases; these are in every single provincial-level region.
Watching from homes and campsites
Football is very popular in China. President Xi Jinping is known for being a lover of the sport, and he has spoken previously of it being a dream for the country to win the World Cup .
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