Sunday, July 31, 2005

Lively support at Budweiser 2005 Shanghai Cup

The Budweiser 2005 Shanghai International Football Tournament has been won by Sevilla defeating Villarreal 2-0 in the final. Three top Spanish La Liga teams, Villareal, FC Sevilla and Real Zaragoza, participated in the football tournament that also featured Shanghai United - an all-star team of players from Shanghai’s four professional teams selected by fans online.

The largest Budweiser-sponsored event in China this year, the four-match soccer tournament was played in the Shanghai Stadium over 27, 28 and 30 July. It followed the Budweiser Manchester United Beijing Cup, featuring Manchester United and Beijing Hyundai, on 26 July at Worker’s Stadium.

The matches were broadcast live on Shanghai Television Station Sports Channel and DragonTV, as well as Astro in Malaysia. Total Sports Asia was the exclusive agent for bringing the Spanish teams to Shanghai.

According to Viva Shanghai bloggers, Jim and Tessa, Shanghai football fans were not satisfied by the composition of the all star team:

"As the first game featured a Shanghai all-star team, the Chinese fans were split between four sets of supporters. Unbeknown to me, the rivalry between these fans runs as deep as that between England’s Arsenal and Tottenham.

At the end of the first game, the tension boiled over as two sets of supporters became embroiled in small scale riot. With the police looking on, a minority of 100-200 fans chanted while hurling bottles at each other."

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