The 2022 World Cup is one of the largest sporting events since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. And with no limit on the number of spectators, 1.2 million fans have flocked to Qatar. They are not required to wear masks during the tournament, which has sparked heated discussions among the Chinese communist regime who still insist on the “zero-COVID” policy.
All 64 matches of the World Cup will be broadcast on China’s CCTV-5 channel. Many Chinese fans are watching the matches live.
Zeng, a Shanghai resident, told Sound of Hope on the November 23, “We are saying on the internet here that there are a lot of people watching the World Cup in Qatar, and there were a lot of (people) at the opening ceremony, and no one was wearing a mask.”
To host the World Cup, the Qatari government lifted travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic from November 1 and does not require a health code to enter public places. If a person is infected with COVID-19, that person will be quarantined according to regulations. Qatar has ended many restrictions because the virus has weakened and the number of infections continues to decline.
Meanwhile, Chinese Communist Party continues to implement various lockdown measures. Zeng told reporters, “There is a vegetable market near us, they had a positive case. For example, if you live within a kilometer radius, you have to do a nucleic acid test. They ask you to do it for three days in a row. Yesterday there was a case close to our house that was quarantined. Because there are positive cases like that, the area must be locked down.”
Wang Jin (pseudonym), a Beijing resident told Sound of Hope, “People in the sub-district are all cursing. They say aren’t people in Qatar afraid of infection? Crowds of people, people close to each other, isn’t it (close contact)?! We both know that we should have lifted the lockdown a long time ago.”
Wu, who lives in a city in southern China, believes that in reality the CCP’s strict “zero-COVID” policy has nothing to do with people’s health and happiness, but it is a money-making tool for some. He said, “Omicron is basically equivalent to the flu, it’s not a problem. Its (the CCP’s) purpose was to make money, and has no medical value to discuss.”
Perhaps CCP authorities are also aware of the impact of the World Cup on the Chinese people. CCTV captured some amazing footage on November 22 of the match between the United States and Wales. However, all photos of the spectators were blurred, and netizens speculated that it could be related to “not wearing a mask.”
According to Sound of Hope, Chinese netizens pointed out that during the live broadcast of the match, the spectators may appear normal, but in the news reports, they are completely blurred. Some netizens think this is a deception.