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China pulls Under-20 football team out of Germany after 6 spectators display Tibet flag

The Chinese FA said Sunday that its under-20 team will return home from Germany after indefinitely suspending its tour over protests by activists who unfurled Tibetan flags at a game.

The youth team had been scheduled to play a series of friendlies against German fourth-tier sides until May, aimed at improving China’s chances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

tibet

Photo: Screenshot.

But the project has courted controversy and become a diplomatic headache for Berlin and Beijing after a pro-Tibetan independence protest during a match in Mainz on November 18.

The German football association (DFB) said last week that the Chinese under-20s would not play the three matches scheduled before the end of the year.

tibet mainz

Mainz stadium. Photo: Googlemaps.

Then on Sunday its Chinese counterpart, the CFA, added: “It has been decided to pause the U20 project and arrangements have been made for the team to return home.”

China pulls Under-20 football team out of Germany after 6 spectators display Tibet flag