Chinese TV Avoids Showing Fans Who Aren't Wearing Masks At World Cup Amid COVID Zero Protests

As protests against the strict COVID Zero policy in China intensify, the Chinese government is censoring the World Cup broadcast to avoid showing any fans not wearing a mask.

FIFA controls the broadcast of games, and every nation around the globe receives the same in-game feed. China, however, has found a way to censor the feed its people are receiving.


Bill Birtles of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation exposed China Central Television (CCTV) of censoring the broadcast in the Asian country. A side-by-side comparison shows the normal broadcast showing unmasked fans celebrating a goal, while the Chinese broadcast keeps the camera on coaches and the players themselves.

Birtles notes that the CCTV feed is on a 32-second delay, which gives the broadcast ample time to censor what it pleases.

Mark Dreyer, a sports insider in China, pointed out the censored version of the broadcast as well.

China Censors World Cup Broadcast Amid Protests

Many people have been forced to stay inside their homes for over three months. Protests around China have grown after 10 people were killed last week in a fire while inside a building that was under lockdown. The building of people was reportedly classified as low risk for the virus.

Some regions around China continue to be in lockdown with residents being forced to take COVID tests every day. China president Xi Jinping continues to enforce the incredibly strict protocols as the number of positive cases grows. The brave protestors taking to the streets are calling for Jinping's resignation.

Chinese officials affirmed the COVID zero policy on Monday following weekend protests. To no surprise, the government did not comment on the ongoing protests that saw police use pepper spray, nor did it confirm how many citizens were arrested after taking to the streets.

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.