These soccer fans will do anything to watch the World Cup
Despite being the most populous country in the world and the birthplace of the ancient kick-ball game, China has no team at the World Cup being held in Brazil. However, the fervor for soccer (or football as the world outside of US calls it) is only getting more feverish in China with Chinese fans willing to do almost anything to catch a glimpse of the game.
Because of the huge time difference between China and Brazil, many of the games essentially require the fans to wake up after midnight or in the wee hours of the morning in order to watch the games. This is definitely affecting the fans' regular day job and sleep schedule. Frustrated fans have come up with creative ways to get around it, such as calling in sick by using a fake doctor's certificate purchased online to prove that they are indeed sick (from soccer fever.) However, this is illegal and a fan reported being fired for the fake certificate.
A new type of business has also sprung up by offering wake-up call services for fans who need to be awakened from their deep slumber. Fans can purchase the wake-up calls per game or for a package of games. The rates start at about 4 US dollars per call and can go up with more important games. An additional service even provides a call reminder for going to work.
Soccer fans are usually male, and oftentimes women complain about being left alone as 'soccer widows.' This group of Chinese girls organized a protest, taking off their 'soccer bras' to show their disgust at being neglected by their boyfriends during the World Cup.
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However, this year, there's been a new trend as many women are getting into the games too. A recent survey claims that 55 percent of soccer fans in China are women. Their reason is totally different from that of the typical soccer fan. Many Chinese women have discovered soccer hunks and are tuning in to feast their eyes on the handsome soccer players. They and their boyfriends or husbands can actually enjoy watching the game together, but for totally different reasons. A couple may even go to a sports bars together and watch the shows there. It's been reported that couples who watch the games together have improved relationships.