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We Talk: The Chinese-American bond in the football stands

Global Stringer

 , Updated 12:21, 16-Nov-2023

In 1998, Brandon Chemers, an American driven by his enduring fascination with China, arrived alone in Beijing from Chicago. Growing up a fervent football enthusiast, Chemers believed that delving into a city's football teams was the most efficient and effective way to familiarize oneself with the city. It was through football that this American forged a profound friendship with Beijing's football fans, establishing an unbreakable bond not only with the city of Beijing, but with China as a whole.

Chemers says that "The stands resemble a big 'siheyuan' (courtyard houses), where everyone there is regarded as family members. Whenever I step into the stands on match days and when the chants begin, irrespective of whether those around you are acquainted, they instinctively place a hand on your shoulder, standing next to you, shoulder to shoulder, collectively rallying behind the team." Indeed, football possesses such compelling allure; it transcends racial and national boundaries, serving as a conduit for people to connect and communicate.

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