Chinese Share How They Got Time Off to Watch the World Cup

Chinese football (soccer) fans share what excuses they've used with their bosses and wives in order to watch the World Cup.

Chinese football (soccer) fans share what excuses they've used with their bosses and wives in order to watch the World Cup.

The Brazil World Cup games are broadcasted live late at night and early in the morning in China. Therefore, Chinese football fans have to stay up all night in order to watch the games live. During the Group stage, games were scheduled at 11pm, 3pm, and 6pm in China. During the current Knockout stage, games are scheduled at 12am and 4am. This can conflict with their normal daytime working schedule and, for men, their relationship with their wives or girlfriends who are not also watching.

The following microblog post from social network Sina Weibo was the second most popular of the past 24 hours at time of translation…

From Sina Weibo:

@高冷病患: Drunk, World Cup — What Reasons Have You Used To Get Time Off From Work In Order to Watch the World Cup? — Interviews at a [sports/football] fan gathering at a bar in Qingdao. These crazy/silly people have almost killed me with laughter, and the second one is simply a life’s dream! bed蹬腿










Comments from Sina Weibo:


Drunk. The guy in the black glasses second from the last, do you need another wife? [抠鼻屎]


Wang Yong! If you see this! You don’t need to come into work tomorrow!


Zhang Ming, so this is the truth. Tomorrow, I’ll grant you a long vacation. [拜拜]


Zhang Yu, if you see this, you don’t need to come into work tomorrow.


Fuck~ This… last image! [肥皂]


The last one, your manager is probably secretly in love with you. [拜拜][拜拜][拜拜]


The second one and second from the last, do you guys need a girlfriend?


This morning, the entire company of several hundred people waited around stupidly as well as impatiently for the boss to convene a meeting. [拜拜] Dad, I’m sorry, I should’ve woke you up. [拜拜][拜拜]


Really, LOL, the 8th one and 9th one are both my schoolmates. We’ve been talking about this all day, those subtitles were added on, and not what they actually said. The last one wanted to cry, and I was even comforting him. The second from the last was probably punished by his girlfriend. [阴险][阴险][阴险]


The middle one, I’m thinking, just what kind of ball [sphere] did his wife send [a picture of] to him?

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • arterius2

    what does the world cup have ANYTHING to do with China or Chinese people in general? other than gambling away what little money they have.

    • ClausRasmussen

      They *love* football

    • KamikaziPilot

      Although I not follow football (soccer) much, I also wondered why the WC was so popular in China and from what I’ve been told a lot of Chinese like to follow European teams and they are much more popular than the domestic teams, which are pretty low level internationally. I guess it’s a way for the Chinese to feel connected to the world and have something to cheer about, since they can’t cheer their own country’s team obviously. And of course gambling like you mentioned.

      • Zappa Frank

        isn’t the same way basketball is so popular in china? I was told Chinese follow the premier league and some the liga, but I’ve found out even some supporters of Italians teams…

        • KamikaziPilot

          Yeah I think so. The NBA is really popular there but I know the Chinese, with the exception of Yao Ming, aren’t really good at basketball domestically. I’m not sure why baseball is so popular in Korea and Japan and not in China though, maybe because American influence after the war is much greater.

          • Rick in China

            “maybe because American influence after the war is much greater” Bingo!

      • Cameron

        It’s not really strange at all. Theres only ever half a dozen teams with a realistic chance of winning the World Cup but regardless it’s watched widely in the majority of countries. There’s no reason why China can’t have a decent football team ten or twenty years down the line.

        • Irvin

          I doubt it, football needs team work, chinese are bad at anything team.

      • Irvin

        We also like japanese porn more, does that surprise you? Just because we’re chinese doesn’t mean we don’t recognize skills and quality.

    • bujiebuke

      Why is that so difficult to believe? Football is popular throughout the world except in the states and other less enlightened countries. China happens to have a weak national team compared to its GDP per capita.

      • Gordon Gogodancer
      • Ray

        I can understand enjoying football but their team isn’t even in the WC. People from countries who are actually in the WC have been following their team for 4 years for this tournament, so it’s understandable why it’s a big deal for them. But the WC has very little significance to Chinese fans. Is it really that serious that they have to lie to get out of work to watch it?

        • Papito

          The World Cup has ‘only’ 32 teams. It is still as much popular in countries that didn’t qualify as for the ones who are in it.

          • Ray

            So because it’s popular, it’s okay to lie to get out of work and watch it? Why not just skip work whenever you don’t feel like it?

          • Papito

            What? Ain’t nobody saying that. In fact, you were the one saying “it’s understandable”…

        • Dick Leigh

          I thought WC meant water-closet and was so confused.

          • When I visited Europe, I thought WC meant World Cup and was equally confused.

      • Cameron

        The main reason China is so rubbish at football is because Chinese kids hardly play any football compared to any of the countries at the World Cup finals. In many soccer loving nations, kids play during break or lunch and then again after school. They play every single day. Chinese kids maybe play once or twice a month as a formal sports lesson, although this might be changing.

        • JabroniZamboni

          Everything is concrete here. There are not enough grass pitches for them to play! I have a friend who is a doctor here, she tells me the amount of broken legs she sees from children playing on concrete is astounding.

          • Papito

            Most Brazilian kids never get to play on grass either, especially poor ones. Football here is played on concrete too, and not only on smooth courts of Futsal, but on asphalt and rugged surfaces.

            Difference is that Chinese kids just can’t take care of themselves. Or that there isn’t enough doctors here in Brazil, so kids end up playing through broken toes lol

      • JabroniZamboni

        Americans have more football fans than in England.

    • Kai

      Just because you can’t have sex doesn’t mean you can’t watch porn. Same concept.

      • Germandude

        Haha, Kai strikes again. Hilarious comparison!

      • bujiebuke

        Forum mod level > 9,000

    • Irvin

      What does anything got to do with anything?

  • Mighty曹

    Quite funny. Good stand up comic material.
    (Except for the last one, “circumcision”, which was lame).

    • Dick Leigh

      I thought that was freaky. The last thing I want or expect when I’m the bathroom is for people to gauge whether or not my foreskin is a good enough length.

  • YourSupremeCommander

    90% of the people watching the world cup in the US are fair weather soccer fans.

    • ClausRasmussen

      …or Hispanic

    • Cameron

      soccer is the third most played and third best attended sport in the US. Of course it’s still a long way off the big two, but it’s far from being a small minority sport.

      • Rick in China

        Um, no?

        Football > Baseball > Basketball > Hockey > Soccer (Football)..
        (this may vary of course, but I don’t think Soccer is nearly as popular as the others, which would indicate it wouldn’t consistently be 3rd in either of your metrics)

        I’ve no idea where you get 3rd most *played*, or 3rd most *attended*, maybe it’s in some narrow scopes of statistics which either include or exclude data sets that make it sound more popular than it is.

        • Cameron

          Soccer in the United States is governed by the United States Soccer Federation, commonly known as U.S. Soccer. The organization governs all levels of soccer in the country, including the national teams, professional leagues, and the amateur game. With over 13 million Americans playing soccer in the United States, soccer is the third most played team sport in the U.S., behind only basketball and baseball/softball.[1] The popularity of soccer in the U.S. has been growing since the 1960s and 1970s, and received a significant boost when the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup. In the United States, the sport of association football is mainly referred to as “soccer”, as the term “football” is primarily used to refer to the sport of American football.[2]

          The highest professional soccer league in the U.S. is Major League Soccer (MLS), which began play in 1996. MLS initially fared poorly, leading to MLS folding two teams in 2002 for financial reasons. MLS has since rebounded, and grown to 19 teams today (16 in the United States and 3 in Canada) with further expansion planned. With an average attendance of over 18,000 per game, MLS has the third highest average attendance of any sports league in the U.S.,[3] and is the seventh highest attended professional soccer league worldwide.[4]

        • Cameron

          As of 2006, over 24 million Americans play soccer. There are 4.2 million players (2.5 million men and 1.7 million women) registered with U.S. Soccer.[19] Thirty percent of American households contain someone playing soccer, a figure second only to baseball.[20] Increasing numbers of Americans, having played the game in their youth, are now avid spectators. A 2011 ESPN sports poll ranked soccer as the fourth most popular team sport in the United States, with 8.2% of Americans ranking soccer as their favorite sport (compared to 3.8% for hockey).[21] A 2011 ESPN sports poll ranked soccer as the second most popular sport in the country for 12-24-year-olds.[22]

          • Rick in China

            Lots of people play soccer. Yep. It’s cheap – there’s a ball, a field, and very little gear.

            Less people play hockey. Yep. It’s expensive – there’s an ice rink, and _lots of gear_.. plus, it’s harder to play, not least of the reasons because it’s on ice.

            As for popularity, though – speaking of ESPN, go to their webpage. Look at the top. You’ll see the following tabs today:

            NFL > MLB > NBA > NHL > NCAAF > NCAAM > NASCAR > WORLD CUP > “more sports”

            Soccer is in the middle – between racing and tennis. You can report some statistics – like average attendees per game, and how many people play (especially youth, again, see: cheap) but if it truly were more popular, I’m sure we’d see something other than a “world cup” tab which is temporarily there during the world cup.

  • Lying and cheating comes so natural to Chinese…why can’t they be honest?

    • Rick in China

      “White lying” is completely part of the culture.. we’ve all experienced it many times I’m sure. Here’s a good article on the subject actually:

      • If you’ve ever done business in China or a transaction on a major level its a different story. “White Lie” and face saving is standard, but lies, outright dishonesty or blatant trickery without moral code is also standard. Everyday I experience Chinese deception…to lie…is to be Chinese

        • mr.wiener

          My my, someone is wearing their shite colored glasses today.

          • I don’t need glasses…although some days I need to wear a blindfold

          • mr.wiener


          • KamikaziPilot

            What do you mean “today”? He’s probably never made a positive comment ever about China or it’s people. It’s all racist verbal diarrhea and not-funny-at-all “jokes”.

        • Rick in China

          “Big business” anywhere is full of lies, outright dishonesty, blatant trickery without moral code — that part is not unique whatsoever to China.

          I think that on a comparative level, the acceptance of constant small lies is far greater than the acceptance of big business deception, which is typically expected anywhere.

          • KamikaziPilot

            In regard to non-white lies, seems to me those from Western culture are more opportunistic liars, meaning they know when and where to lie to benefit them the most, without getting caught, because once you get caught deception is more difficult to pull off in the future. Whereas Chinese, while having no qualms about lying, will often lie but maybe too often and then lose the ability to deceive later when they need too. In other words Chinese aren’t as cunning as those who grew up in a Western culture. Do you agree?

          • Rick in China

            That could absolutely be the case. I think with this subject, though, it’s all anecdotal, so individuals will have far ranging experiences on the matter… so it’s hard to generalise without getting equally valid anecdotal rebuttals :)

          • you havent owned a business in China then…

          • Rick in China

            My wife owns businesses in the mainland, big ones, one with a big problem..which is why we’re stuck here until it is resolved. I haven’t owned a business here myself, I registered in HK and no income was related to mainland whatsoever – but I have had to deal with suppliers, construction people, etc in both work/private life. While I agree that there anecdotally seems to be *more* deception, lying, and trickery here than in, say, Canada where that’s very seldom an issue.. there certainly are countries where deception, lying, and trickery are part of daily business especially so in some sectors, like um…say, financial sector. My point was, Fong, that the *contrast* is greater on the scale of daily lies, where I almost never experience that sort of thing on a routine basis when interacting with foreigners or when back home, people are much more capable of being honest, whereas here, it’s almost expected to give face and tell what they call “good” lies.

          • bujiebuke

            Canadian honesty is more of an urban legend than truth. My first landlord was an elderly semi-retired elementary school teacher who owned 5-6 houses and rented them out to students and families for over 25 years. On day one, she informed me about her “knowledge” of the residential tenancy laws and I had to do X, Y, and Z or else. When it came time for me to move out, she refused to refund my deposit without a justification. In fact she out right ignored my letter. I took her to arbitration, and she flat out lied that she’s blind and couldn’t read the regulations. The arbitrator shook her head in disbelief and eventually ruled in my favor. This speaks to the fairness of the Canadian legal system, rather than an honest society.
            As for your wife, I have a smidgen of that sort of experience and it wasn’t too pleasant when it came time to part ways. Businesses in China are still done on a hand shake, forget contracts. The only way to enforce contracts in China is to have real repercussions. She’s better off bribing a few powerful officials than spend that money on attorneys.

          • Rick in China

            My wife’s businesses aren’t like that. Her businesses all involve the government, the one project with the problem is a property development — 8 buildings, and complexity beyond small business deals. It’s on the route to resolution but the court process for something involving this amount of money takes a _very_ long time to wrap up, and my client wants me in OZ on long term assignment which I’m happy to do with baby needing fresh air, but unfortunately nothing can be done to speed it up.

            I don’t think one dishonest (and/or ignorant) old bitch in Canada represents the society, of course there are thieves, liars, and people who try to get more than their fair share.. but in all of my experiences (including vicariously) I have to say that, typically, I feel far more trusting of a random stranger in Canada than most other countries I’ve been to. This is a very anecdotal metric though, so it’s hard to say anything about honesty with authority of course…

          • pink panda

            good luck any way!

          • Rick in China

            Troll more.

          • pink panda

            no worry!
            you are not the first white man married rich chinese woman for money and business i know so far!
            oh, i wish to be shanghainese so much to get some lick any way!

          • mr.wiener

            I’m sure you’ll get some lick one day.

          • ex-expat

            You are absolutely right that it is not unique to China, however, I have never experienced the pervasive dishonesty that I have on the mainland. Violations of intellectual property, the ungodly amount of food scandals which are often not a result of negligence but rather willful deception, and feigning injury for compensation are just the tip of the iceberg. People can blame it on lack of regulations, lack of enforcement, the culture…I don’t care…but it surely exists. There are many great people in China, too, but that is besides my point.

          • Germandude

            Most annoying for me (and keeping me busy for a couple of weeks now again):
            Signing contracts without any feel of it being binding, as in: “Why would I care about what I agreed onto yesterday?”

          • ex-expat

            And, sadly, your feelings are justified. I never understood the point of signing contracts there, as I would in all likelihood have no recourse should the other party renege. An interesting story:

            I had a job where my contract stipulated that I was to be paid biweekly. About a month and a half goes by, so I decide to contact my boss asking when I am going to get my money, to which my boss replies “tomorrow.” Another week goes by, still nothing. I knew that going in and waving my contract would do absolutely nothing, so I told my girlfriend, who in turn told her mother (a woman pretty high up in the government in Beijing). That night, my girlfriend’s mother called my boss (something that would be unheard of where I come from), but sure enough the next day I got paid.

          • Germandude

            Eventhough you think that you have a “waterproof” contract, or agreed business scope, mentioning everything into the tiniest detail, this means nothing here.
            E.g.: “If party A fails to deliver on time (on time is defined by the contract), then @_^!)@!!! happens and party A has to do….”

            Well, after some smooth operations, party A fails to deliver and your best guess would be: “Luckily we have a waterproven contract and everybody involved knows what will happen now”. That’s the thing, it won’t happen, because “How could we know that we fail to deliver?”

            Often, it’s not even the monetary loss that’s a problem, but if one wheel stops spinning, other wheels will soon stop too. That seems to be rocket science here as well.
            And after being here for too long it seems, you simply get a thick skin and you don’t argue much any more. I give suppliers/partners a chance to fix any error once, otherwise, legal department will take over. I am long out of kindergarden playtime.

          • xiaode

            totally agree!
            In all my projects I have always! (fucking always!!!) violations of the the contracts.
            You need fucking months to agree with a supplier to deliver a part / product / system which suppose to be their core business at a discussed deadline… you sign the contract and make a downpayment… and after that everything discussed before is worth shit!
            Then they will find out that because of this and that reason they can´t meet the deadline…
            Materials have to be changed for stupid reasons… if they are cheaper (lower quality) then you get lower quality at the end for the same price… if costs are higher then of course you need to pay more…
            … and what the fuck is quality control.. “yes.. we are 9001 certificated but no, we can´t show you any quality reports we have done for your production….”

            And if you think this only counts from small shitty factories your are completely wrong, we (my company) have huge state-owned (and supported) world leading manufacturers as suppliers which work exactly the same way…

            And the sentence I really started to hate here… if they try to justify some stupid nonsense they did / want to do… with… “在中国是这样。。“ (“In China it´s like that…”) I hate this!

          • ex-expat

            I feel your pain. I am surprised it has continued to go on for as long as it has. Hopefully it will come back to bite them often enough to force change.

          • xiaode

            o.. it will… once they want to sell advanced tech. which will have then the same price level as a European production. Noone! Even not Chinese people! buy Made in China if it comes with the same price tag like a Made in Germany, Made in USA, Made in Japan, Made in Taiwan, Made in… you name it…

          • ClausRasmussen

            >> you simply get a thick skin

            China survival guide 101

          • My recent experience should count me as one of the lucky ones. Imported garments from 5 suppliers, 2 of them changed specs and quantity without informing me beforehand, despite constant communication before, during and after the shipment made it to port. We now have to redo the stitching on some, and discard the others that are damaged. The cost benefit of “made in China” is all but gone now.

            But hey at least the goods all arrived, unlike one unlucky chap I know who negotiated, bought and paid for his goods without seeing the factories in China personally. The Alibaba profile of his supplier vanished overnight.

          • Germandude

            Welcome to China ;-)

        • bujiebuke

          Buying sperm at large quantities is still unregulated in China. You have only yourself to blame for the sticky situation your in.

    • JabroniZamboni

      This isn’t only the case with the Chinese, as other cultures with a Confucian system of values do it as well.

      The Koreans will tell the “white lie” to keep their “Kibun” (Think of it as keeping face) intact. It is better to lie than to confront problems face to face. It can be annoying as hell. As someone who deals with Koreans on a daily basis (I also lived in Seoul for 2 years), the amount of bullshit they spew is insane.

      The Japanese are prolific liars (Fukushima anyone?) If you do business with a Japanese person, get the quotes on paper. The women are full of shit. I’m ” unmarried ” means fuck me quickly before my husband gets home.

      While the Chinese are not the only ones (the whole world is filled with liars), they do lie in ways that are brash and astounding (see transparent and easily detected)…they simply are so mistrusted that they do not get away with the lies like the other cultures.

      Some of them are so brazen, it is hilarious.

      I think in all, Asians in general are branded as people to be wary of, people who do not tell the truth. I don’t think this is the case for everyone, however the amount that they do lie is pretty out there.

      Westerners are big liars too. I can’t tell you how many ex-pats living here are so full of shit. “I was a CEO of a company, have 6 properties, and now I teach kindergarten.” How do you keep a straight face and say that?

      There are assholes in every country, there just happen to be more assholes here because of the population.

      The only thing I would reproach the Chinese about is that when it comes issues of money, they will say anything, do anything in order to get what they want. Quite unscrupulous, however for the past 20 years they have had the concept of greed stamped into their minds. There is no trust with a handshake. If they can take your money, they will.

  • x1sfg

    Now if the CCP team can stop being arrogant, prima donnas and actually start working on their game instead of boozing it up every day at nightclubs, they might actually be able to qualify for the World Cup.

  • Rick in China

    “The middle one, I’m thinking, just what kind of ball [sphere] did his wife send [a picture of] to him?”

    Well, it’s China, so couldn’t have been real tits, couldn’t have been real eyes, must have been a fist.

  • Surfeit

    “Dad I have to beg you for a favour again.” HAHA! Yes lad! Easy life!

  • G in Xiamen

    Not funny at all.