After the Chinese team lost its final match on Aug. 13 to Brazil 3-0, the Propaganda Department apparently got fed up with all the jokes about the men’s team.
One major newspaper received an order to stop criticizing the men’s team, a reporter for the newspaper said. Another Chinese journalist confirmed on Wednesday night that a general order along those lines had been issued by the government.
The journalists spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal.
On an Internet message board, an anonymous person who works for a television or radio news program said in a post dated Aug. 16 that the Central Propaganda Department had “demanded that the press not overly quip or sneer at the Chinese men’s soccer team.”