Angry Chinese fans have called for the resignation of the president of China’s football association, after the country lost to Syria in a World Cup qualifier.
Syria’s 1-0 victory on Thursday shocked fans in the Chinese city of Xi’an who took to the streets.
China has said it wants to become a “world football superpower”.
But the loss means the team could now miss out on a place in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
China is ranked 78th in the world whereas Syria is 114th, just ahead of North Korea. The Chinese team faces Uzbekistan on 11 October which will decide if they qualify.
Tencent’s sports website said large group
of fans gathered on the streets outside the Zhuque stadium, demanding the resignation of Cai Zhenhua, president of the Chinese Football Association after the game.
‘Going to hide my face now’
Online, fans were equally critical of the Chinese team’s performance.
“The Syrian football team has proved that we aren’t strong and victorious,” said one user on micro-blogging site Weibo.