When we arrived in China I made it my personal mission to go to a few Chinese Super League games.
After much searching on the internet I managed to find a fixture list and information about tickets (40 – 60 RMB, no allocated seats). Tianjin TEDA play their home games at the Olympic Stadium, which was built for the Olympic games and has a capacity of 60,000.
So, a few of us went off to our first game. What were we expecting? In terms of football probably a level similar to the English Championship or League 1 and a crowd of maybe two or three thousand.
What we found was a crowd of about ten thousand with a large group of ‘super fans’ with flags, drums, banners and a wide range of Chinese insults….perfect! At one match there were a few hundred away fans, however Shanghai traveled with about 4!
The football was interesting. There appeared to be a real lack of effort for long periods of time and it was as if tackling was banned. There were a few highlights including two missed penalties and a huge roar from the crowd every time a corner was awarded, which reminded me of playing in tournaments as a youngster where a point was awarded for a corner. Despite a lack of action in the match it was very entertaining watching the supporters shouting, arguing, staring blankly into space and sleeping!
Tianjin are currently 7th in the league at the half way point with their next home game on the 30th July (I wonder if Mrs T would like tickets as an anniversary gift?!).
Fixtures can be found here: Tianjin TEDA FC Fixtures and Results
It is definitely worth a visit and with Ao Cheng only a 5 minute walk away beverages can be consumed before or after the game!
See you at the next match!