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China Soccer

Huang Jianxiang

Huang Jianxiang (Simplified: 黄健翔; Pinyin: Huáng Jiànxiáng; January 20, 1968 - ), is one of the best-known sports commentators in China, formerly of the state-run network China Central Television (CCTV). He was fairly well received in his commentating of football, particularly at the FIFA World Cup and the German Bundesliga, although he also commentated during various multi-sport events such as the Olympic Games and the Asian Games. He received international attention during a World Cup commentary incident on June 26, 2006 when he commentated on the match between Australia and Italy, where he yelled passionately for several minutes. Having already received widespread media attention in China for his alleged affair with SuperGirl Zhang Liangying and a widely publicized divorce case with his ex-wife, Huang's notorious commentary became extremely controversial, and propelled him to become the subject of hordes of criticism in print media and on the internet. He resigned from CCTV November 2006 and joined with Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.

Biography

Huang Jianxiang grew up in a family of soccer fans. His grandfather and his father were two early soccer fans in China. He became a soccer enthusiast in his school years.

Huang has one daughter, with a wife whom he divorced. He was rumoured to have had an affair with a Super Girl contestant Jane Zhang.

The World Cup Commentary 2006 Incident

The incident

On June 26, 2006, during the FIFA World Cup match between Italy and Australia, as the on-field commentator of CCTV, Huang Jianxiang unexpectedly revealed his pro-Italian bias in an anti-Australian rant while commentating on the last minutes of a live match broadcast to many millions in China. This commentary has been compared to Bjørge Lillelien's "Your boys took one hell of a beating". He shouted himself hoarse in the process, and celebrated the Socceroos' exit from the Cup:

... "Penalty! Penalty! Penalty! Grosso's done it! Grosso's done it! Don't give the Australians any chance."

... "The great Italian left back! He succeeded in the glorious traditions of Italy! Facchetti, Cabrini and Maldini, their souls are infused in him at this moment! Grosso represents the long history and traditions of Italian soccer; he's not fighting alone at this moment! He's not alone!!"

... "Totti, Totti is facing the spot kick. He is facing the expectations from Italian soccer fans all over the world."

... "Schwarzer has saved two spot kicks in the World Cup qualifying tournaments, both of these were during the playoffs of the world cup qualification. Totti should have known this. Will he still be able to face the man in front of him with a smile? How about his expression after 10 seconds?"

... "Goooooal! Game over! Italy win! Beat the Socceroos! They do not fall in front of Hiddink again! Italy the great! Italian left back the great! Long live Italy! Happy birthday to Maldini!! Forza Italia!!"

... "He didn't let the Italians down. This penalty kick was an absolute one-off! Absolute one-off! Italy have made the final eight!"

... "The victory belongs to Italy, to Grosso, to Cannavaro, to Zambrotta, to Buffon, to Maldini, to everyone who loves Italian soccer!!"

... "The hell with them!" (Background voice)

... "The Socceroos might regret, Hiddink! He played too conservatively and too calmly with one more player (than Italy) in the second half, he lost all his courage. Faced with the long history and traditions of Italian soccer, he didn't attack as fiercely as he did in the group matches. He finally reaped fruits which he had sown! They should go home. They don't need to go as far away as Australia as most of them are living in Europe. Farewell!"

Huang was initially unapologetic for his controversial commentary in the post-game linkup with CCTV. He stated that he could not be impartial all the time and he did dislike the Socceroos because the team reminded him of the New Zealand team, most of whom lived abroad, which beat China in the World Cup qualifying tournaments in 1981.

Huang's commentary sparked a barrage of complaints as well as several press criticisms the following day. His commentary was replaced with another commentator's when the video of the match was replayed by CCTV. After reviewing his commentary, Huang eventually apologised on the state-run CCTV the next day, and posted an apology on its website for his unwarranted prejudice. He did not commentate on the next game.

Huang appeared live on CCTV again while he acted as commentator to the Germany vs. Argentina(BallackVSTangoBrigade) match on 30 June 2006, which quashed the rumour that he has been dismissed by CCTV. He commentated on many subsequent matches, including the final between France and Italy held in Berlin on 9 July 2006. All these matches were co-commentated with a fellow commentator.

Post-match reactions

Huang's outburst caused an uproar and then sparked a huge debate online and offline in China, as well as in Australia. His superior Zhang Bin, the director of CCTV Sports Channel, criticised Huang for first losing his voice (失声), next losing his cool (失态) then losing his politeness (失礼), and finally losing his mind (失常). Others criticised Huang for ceasing to be a neutral commentator at an official media and opined he should resign immediately.

On the contrary,people supporting Huang public voiced their opinions on several online forums to prevent his dismissal. A number of on-lineparodies of Huang's match commentary became available on the Chinese websites such as on NetEase and Sina

On November 16 2006, Huang Jianxiang announced his resignation from CCTV, citing he needed a break from his busy schedule. CCTV sports director Jiang Heping told the Chinese media that Huang's resignation was a personal decision and had nothing to do with his controversial commentatary during the World Cup.

Joining Phoenix

Huang joined the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV network in early December 2006, citing that they had offered the most lucrative deal to him over Hunan Satellite TV and Chongqing Satellite TV. Director Zhang Guoli has reputedly asked him to become an actor.

Quotes

  • "I reckon that I am just the occupation standard", "though no people recognise my standard".
  • "I am a human being, not a machine, and I can't be impartial all the time."

Books

Huang Jianxiang published his first book, Teases on Soccer (歪批足球), in 2000. This book reviews various typical soccer matches in China and other countries, including strategies, championship systems, cultures and other aspects involved in activities of soccer.

Huang's second book, To struggle as a man — I am that "soccer narrator" (像男人那样去战斗 — 我就是那个"说球的"), was published in April 2006. This autobiography tells story of his life as a sports commentator since 2000 and gives his candid viewpoints regarding Chinese soccer and world soccer, as well as several major international sports events he experienced.

References

External links

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