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Some employers fear World Cup

06-11-2010 16:31 BJT

BEIJING, June 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese football fans may be excited about the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off on Friday, but their employers are not.

Zhang Huiquan, an editor of a Wuhan-based sports website, demonstrates his passion for soccer by holding up a sign that reads: “I will quit my job to watch the World Cup.”(ZHOU SHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY)
Zhang Huiquan, an editor of a Wuhan-based sports website, 
demonstrates his passion for soccer by holding up a sign 
that reads: “I will quit my job to watch the World Cup.”

Full Coverage: World Cup in South Africa Related readings: Inmates team up for World Cup behind bars Soccer fans celebrate ahead of World Cup South Africa ready for World Cup party Like football fanatics around the globe, Chinese fans, too, are all set to soak in the World Cup fever. Bar owners, managers of electronics stores as well as beer dealers can't wait to welcome money-splashing customers as the most watched sporting event in the world takes off.

But a number of employers fear that the month-long football gala will have an impact on their employees' productivity.

Going by a recent survey of 6,000 Internet users, their fears might not be completely groundless. Zhang Huiquan, an editor of a Wuhan-based sports website, demonstrates his passion for soccer by holding up a sign that reads: “I will quit my job to watch the World Cup.” [ZHOU SHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY]

According to the survey, conducted by, an online human resource agency, 66 percent of employees polled said they will stay up nights to watch the matches, and 20 percent said they will watch every game no matter how late at night.

Nearly half of those surveyed admitted watching matches overnight will possibly affect their work, while 23 percent said they may take days off for major matches.

"A lot of my employees are football zealots. When the World Cup begins, they will be completely distracted. I am really anxious about their performance at work and my business during the coming month," a Beijing-based advertising agency owner, surnamed Wang, told China Daily.

"One of my employees told me yesterday that his mother-in-law is receiving medical treatment for lung cancer and wanted a few days off. I granted him leave but later found out that he just wanted to watch the World Cup. I felt betrayed," she said, adding that she will reject all applications for leave until the event is over, unless they are reasonable.

Wang Qinglian, who works for a Shanghai medical products company, said his firm has meted out some new regulations for leave.


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