China’s under-20 football team in Tibet controversy

China’s under-20 football team in Tibet controversy

The Chinese Under-20 football team's controversial tour of Germany has been suspended following a row over activists who unfurled Tibetan flags.
 
The tour is part of an experiment, which runs until May, aimed at advancing the Asian superpower's chances at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. But the project has courted controversy and become a diplomatic headache for Berlin after a pro-Tibetan independence protest during a match in Mainz.
 
We believe this adjournment is essential in order to give us the time needed to discuss the situation calmly and openly and find a reasonable solution," Ronny Zimmermann, vice president of DFB, the German football association, said on Friday. "The two federations (German and Chinese) will try to work out a way of relaunching the project again quickly."
 
The DFB confirmed that the Chinese Under-20s will not play the three matches scheduled to be played before the end of the year. The Chinese Football Association said the situation was "regrettable".
 
"These factors unrelated to sports were not in accordance with the basic principles of developing friendly relations between the two countries," it said in a statement on Friday.
 
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