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.
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.
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.
As a result, matches are being shown on national broadcaster CCTV, and state media have sought to amplify China's "presence". The Global Times has reported on how China-made products "ranging from buses to the stadium, and even air conditioning units are well represented at the event".
But it is evident that Covid-19 has put a damper on the celebrations. In major cities, outbreaks have resulted in non-essential businesses once again closing, and people being urged to limit their movements.
With no bars to go to, the Global Times newspaper says some fans are "choosing to watch the games at home with their families". Others have also reportedly taken to camping sites.
Flights between Qatar and China also remain severely limited for those hoping to watch the event in person.
Source: BBC News
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