Beijing [China], November 28 (ANI): While FIFA World Cup is on in full swing, so are the Chinese censors.
China's state broadcaster, CCTV, recently took to censoring some visuals from the broadcast of the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, citing South China Morning Post, the CCTV's sports channel snipped images of fans without masks during the match between Costa Rica and Japan. It replaced them with images of players and other officials.
Similar censorship was in evidence during the game between Australia and Tunisia as well, according to reports.
Chinese viewers were baffled on seeing maskless fans of other countries during the initial coverage of the World Cup.
China is enforcing a 'Zero-Covid policy' across the country, whic comes with stringent lockdowns and curbs.
Over the weekend, China witnessed rising anger amongst the people over the Covid restrictions, with protests erupting in Shanghai and Beijing, stated a report by The Hollywood Reporter.
However, across Chinese social media platforms like Weibo and WeChat, video clips of fans without masks at the showpiece football event went viral.
Netizens came up with sarcastic reactions seeing maskless fans cheering their teams on at the World Cup.
"Is this the 2018 WC? No one is worried about the virus?" posted a user on WeChat, taking a veiled dig at China's'Zero Covid' policy.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, state censors removed posts en masse and cut down on the number of crowd shots from television broadcasts of the World Cup.
While the FIFA World Cup has grown into an enormously popular sporting spectacle in China over the last ten years, many Chinese firms have lucrative sponsorship deals around the event.
This year, too, Chinese companies are the event's biggest sponsors, with a collective expenditure of USD 1.4 billion in sponsorship deals. (ANI)