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Applying Kung Fu Techniques To Kickstart Chinese Soccer

Shaolin students playing soccer at the Tagou Wushu School in Dengfeng
Shaolin students playing soccer at the Tagou Wushu School in Dengfeng

Combining kung fu with soccer? This was a fantasy depicted in Stephen Chow's 2001 martial arts comedy film Shaolin Soccer. But now, in Henan province, home of the Shaolin Temple famous for its superhuman martial-arts monks, we are set to see a real-life attempt to kick some life into Chinese soccer by applying the methods of kung fu, the China Times reports.

Though China is a major sports power, its national soccer team is seen at home as a national embarrassment. It ranks 84th in the world, and has been beaten by the likes of Uzbekistan, and romped recently by South Korea.

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But ever since Chinese President Xi Jinping took office two years ago, integrating soccer into the national curriculum has become both a way of promoting the sport in China and boosting his public image, said the South China Morning Post.

Zhang Wenshen, director of the Henan Province Sports Bureau, has apparently heeded Xi's call with a homegrown method that seems to take inspiration from the kung fu film, "We are undertaking a bold attempt in advancing soccer reform and in carrying forward Chinese traditional martial arts," Zhang told China Times.

[rebelmouse-image 27089626 alt="""" original_size="450x257" expand=1]

Last week, the "Henan Shaolin Teenagers Soccer Training Base" was officially opened. The beautiful game may never be the same again.

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Violence Against Women, The Patriarchy And Responsibility Of The Good Men Too

The femicide of Giulia Cecchettin has shaken Italy, and beyond. Argentine journalist Ignacio Pereyra looks at what lies behind femicides and why all men must take more responsibility.

photo of a young man holding a sign: Filippo isn't a monster, he's the healthy son of the patriarchy

A protester's sign referring to the alleged killer reads: Filippo isn't a monster, he's the healthy son of the patriarchy

Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press via ZUMA Press
Ignacio Pereyra

Updated Dec. 3, 2023 at 10:40 p.m.


ATHENS — Are you going to write about what happened in Italy?, Irene, my partner, asks me. I have no idea what she's talking about. She tells me: a case of femicide has shaken the country and has been causing a stir for two weeks.

As if the fact in itself were not enough, I ask what is different about this murder compared to the other 105 women murdered this year in Italy (or those that happen every day around the world).

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We are talking about a country where the expression "fai l'uomo" (be a man) abounds, with a society so prone to drama and tragedy and so fond of crime stories as few others, where the expression "crime of passion" is still mistakenly overused.

In this context, the sister of the victim reacted in an unexpected way for a country where femicide is not a crime recognized in the penal code, contrary to what happens, for example, in almost all of Latin America.

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