Barcelona and Guo'an joust in Bird's Nest, fans divided

August 10, 2010 | Posted by Chris

FC Barcelona playing Beijing Guo'an FC in the Bird's Nest stadium, above. Barcelona won 3-0. Via China Realtime

Soccer club FC Barcelona was in Beijing this week to play local team Guo'an FC in the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium. The match took place on Sunday, August 8, at 8:08 pm, kicking off at nearly the same time the Olympic ceremonies opened 2 years ago.

Barcelona scored two early goals and scored again in the game's final minute to defeat Guo'an 3-0. The Beijing offense -- led by Honduran forward Walter Martinez and Australian brothers Ryan and Joel Griffiths -- had a number of decent attacks but fell short in the end.

The Wall Street Journal reports discord among the Chinese fans in attendance: each time FC Barcelona fans cheered for their team, Guo'an fans responded in loud, rthythmic chants of vulgar language. Known as jing ma, there are a collection of swear words that are identified with the Beijing dialect of Chinese, but understood by Chinese speakers everywhere. It's reported that of all the spectator sports in Beijing, soccer fans use jing ma the most.

The Bird's Nest stadium soccer field, by the way, seems to have fared worse than the losing team itself. The Journal says that "by the second half, the pitch looked more like a fairway after middle school golf practice than a pitch fit for Europe's perennial soccer powerhouse." Barcelona's coach also made comments hoping for a "better pitch" the next time his team plays there.

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