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This team in action was sporting a Malaysia-like jersey.

Tiger Street Football returns to Guangzhou as citizens ‘chase the moon’

This team in action was sporting a Malaysia-like jersey.

Tiger Beer

The third year of Tiger Street Football in China finishes its first day on a traditional public holiday

On the day after the Moon Festival, the 32 teams in the Chinese leg of the 2013 Tiger Street Football (TSF) national tournament had the city buzzing.

In the public square outside Metropolitan Plaza on West Peace Road, Guangzhou, a humid but sunny day marked the third consecutive year of the TSF Chinese leg held in this southern Chinese city. Still on a public holiday, football fans looking for a fun day out witnessed a showcase of talents in the street.

After competing non-stop in the oval-shaped Tiger Street Football Cage on Match Day 1, the first-timers Nam Yue Xiangrui won the national championship after defeating the defending champions, Fortune 3-2.

Their respective opponents in the semi-finals, 361 and Yanye Property, will join them and enter the international tournament on Match Day 2.

“We have been old rivals,” said Cao Zhijie from Team Nam Yue Xiangrui, referring to the fact that players in the tournament are familiar with each other as many have been playing in the local GDF futsal league and various other competitions, implying the long-existing futsal culture in the city.

“Guangzhou is probably the most ideal place in China for a tournament like this,” said Raymond Leung, the marketing Manager of Guangzhou Asia Pacific Brewery Co. Ltd, who also highlighted the city’s prevailing football fan culture and sophisticated consumerism.

He also stated that the city is initiating a unique street football trend around the country, or so they vision.

“In the third year, we’ve already allocated some of the available participation spots to eastern China,” Mr. Leung said, explaining that, unlike the past two year, only 24 teams among the 32 in the national event are from Canton, while others were allocated to cities like Shanghai and Changzhou.

“Initiating in Canton, we’re looking to influence other places in China in the future,” said Mr. Leung.

On Day 2, four international teams from Vietnam, Malaysia, Sweden and Argentina will compete with the top four local teams in the international tournament.