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SBD Global/June 21, 2013/International Football
Beckham Sees 'Bright' Future For Chinese Football; Visit Results In Stampede
Published June 21, 2013
BECKHAMANIA: In London, Mark Blunden wrote seven people were injured Thursday in a stampede to catch a glimpse of Beckham "when he visited a Chinese university." Shanghai police said that "three police officers, two university security guards and two students were hurt." More than 1,000 people "had gathered at a stadium in Shanghai Tongji University when the police cordon was stormed" (EVENING STANDARD, 6/20). Also in London, Leo Lewis wrote in Beckham's first moments outside the car, "everything seemed to be proceding in line with usual Asian levels of Chinese Beckhamania" -- students hung from windows or rooftops, others climbed trees for better view, others still pressed themselves against the campus gates and behind cordons of security guards. But as Beckham set foot in the football training ground, "it was clear that Shanghai's university students were cut from a more passionate cloth than elsewhere." A door was broken down and "the authorities rapidly lost control." Guards lost their footing "as the human tsunami washed inexorably" toward Beckham. The event was canceled in the tumult "and Beckham's stay cut down to just five minutes." Photographs that have emerged in the aftermath show heaps of shoes, bags and other possessions lost in the chaos, "and snaps of anguished students weeping at an opportunity squandered" (LONDON TIMES, 6/20).