Chinese commentator in spotlight for losing his cool in World Cup broadcast
A Chinese World Cup commentator caused an uproar in the country as he
shouted "Long Live Italy" and declared "I don't like Team Australia" after Italy
knocked out Australia on a last-minute penalty shot in Cologne of Germany
Huang Jianxiang, a commentator for national broadcaster China
Central Television (CCTV), lost his cool as Francesco Totti scored a penalty in
the last minute of stoppage time to give 10-man Italy a 1-0 win over Australia
in the World Cup second round.
The 38-year-old Huang shouted himself hoarse
after Italian defender Fabio Grosso tumbled over Lucas Neill's challenge in the
Australian box. As Francesco Totti blasted home the penalty, Huang shrieked in
"Biased and crazy as he is, Huang Jianxiang has to quit as a
soccer show host," a netizen named Ximen Yidao posted on Xinhua News Agency's
Popular Chinese portals such as Sina.com and Sohu.com's
online discussion forums were flooded with messages about Huang's outburst on
Tuesday. More Web surfers blasted at Huang than those siding with him.
went too far," said a message on Sina. "He shouldn't extol an ugly-playing
Italian team and ridiculed the brave Australian squad."
As Australia coach
Guus Hiddink disputed Italy's last gasp penalty which killed Australia's World
Cup dream, Huang said Spanish referee Luis Medina Cantalejo's decision was
"It was an undisputed penalty," shouted Huang in the last minute of the
"Grosso made it! He made it! Don't give Australia any chance! Great
Italian left defender. Grosso alone represents the long and deep tradition of
Italian soccer. He is not fighting alone.
"Totti! He is about to take the
shot. He shoulders the expectations of the whole world.
"It's a goal! Game
over! ... Italy didn't fall to Hiddink's team this time (Hiddink had led South
Korea to oust Italy in the 2002 World Cup). Happy birthday to Paolo Maldini
(born on July 26)! Long Live Italy!"
Huang then turned to the Socceroos: "Go
home! But they don't need to fly back to Australia which is too far away. Most
of them live in Europe. Bye-bye."
Huang was unrepentant for his controversial
comments in the post-game satellite linkup with the Beijing newswroom.
a human being, not a machine, and I can't be impartial all the time," he
"Australia reminded me of a lousy team which eliminated China in the
World Cup qualifiers in 1981. Australia is just like New Zealand team that beat
us in 1981.
"It (Australia) is full of neutralized Australians who play and
live in Britain. I don't care about the Australian team and don't want to see
Australia have good results in the World Cup.
"Australia (which has joined
the Asian Football Confederation) now will fight for an Asian World Cup berth
and it may not be good enough to handle South Korea and Japan. But it will very
likely take advantage of the Chinese team. So I don't like it."
newsroom host Zhang Bin tried several times to interrupt Huang to avoid further
damage, but Huang rattled on until the linkup was severed.
Zhang then tried
to make up, apple-polishing the hard-fighting Australians and guru coach Hiddink
in the rest of the program.
Despite Chinese soccer remains at a low level,
its soccer media is as racy as its English and German counterparts.
TV hosts' preferences can be easily heard in their comments. CCTV reporters and
commentators usually favor traditional powers such as England, Italy, Argentina
and Germany. In the 2002 World Cup, CCTV hostess Sheng Bin stunned millions of
Chinese audiences as she openly wept at Argentina's early exit.
sports media took off after the nation launched a professional soccer league in
1994 and began broadcasting English and Italian soccer on state television.
newfound passion for the sport, combined with rising incomes, fuelled demand for
more colorful and informative news. As the market becomes more competitive,
China's fledgling soccer paparazzi can do anything for a story.
Xinhua By Sportswriter Cao Jianjie