9 Aug 2009

Chinese Serie A fans flock to Bird's Nest

6:52 am on 9 August 2009

Around 70,000 fans packed into the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing for the Italian Super Cup, some to mark the first anniversary of the Olympic opening ceremony and others testament to the enduring popularity of the Serie A football league in China.

Serie A was the first foreign football to be broadcast regularly in China two decades ago and as a result is the most popular European league in the world's most populous country, whose own football is dogged by scandals and poor performances.

Inter Milan's Chinese supporters had the edge in numbers and noise but it was the smaller band of fans in Lazio's sky blue who had the satisfaction of a 2-1 win in the traditional pre-season match between the league champions and Cup winners.