Tattoos and China have a long history with one another, with some of the most unique and beautiful artistic tattoos originating from there.
In saying that, as a nation in general, tattoos have been somewhat of a taboo; people with tattoos being associated with crime culture which is often clear when you see any film there with an infamous drug lord covered in tattoos looking extremely dangerous. This is not a look the heads in China want.
However, the past five years have seen almost a trend in tattoo culture with studios popping up in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and many more cities embracing the new trends.
The youth of today in China have been the ones excelling the rate of tattoos there, with anyone who can looking to get one. Some would say it’s at an over the top rate. With people being oppressed for so long being looked down upon for having one, they finally could come out and express themselves.
Skip forward to March 2018, where we see some very strange scenes in an international friendly tournament cup where the Chinese national side faced Wales. Some of the Chinese players were plastered in bandages covering what were obviously tattoos. The Chinese FA had told them to cover up the tattoos in their new process to stop Chinese footballers from having so many tattoos.
In the new Chinese FA initiative, they want to create and organize multiple lessons for the youth and development sides of both club and international standings.
They want to educate the players to nurture what they call a “healthy culture” in Chinese society.
As stated before it seems very strange from the CFA to enforce these changes, especially considering how normal tattoos have become in Chinese culture nowadays.
Celebrities, sports stars etc helped normalise it, and now it seems as if the CFA want to ease back on this, effectively bringing back the stigma to it, teaching the players that it’s not the way to go; when of course it’s all down to personal preference and whether you decide to have one or not.
This starts to get serious when the CFA’s ideas could maybe impact a Chinese player’s future, for example, there are multiple players with neck and face tattoos which are much harder to cover up. If the CFA wants to come down hard on the tattoo culture, they’d maybe be even willing to ban players with more extreme tattoos. Of course, that sounds utterly extreme but with some of the recent decisions made by the CFA, I personally wouldn’t be surprised.
It’ll be interesting to see how far the CFA want to go with this and whether they want just the international side, or whether they want all club sides to follow procedure.
With tattoos being so in trend in China maybe the CFA should just keep up with the times and not live in the past. At the end of the day, if they’re making their players feel uncomfortable wearing all of these unnecessary bandages, it’s likely they won’t be at full ability. Let’s hope the CFA rethink their idea on this.