Chinese fans in danger of losing face
Thu Jun 22, 12:44 AM ET
BEIJING (Reuters) – Watching the World Cup on television may not only kill you, but could give you facial paralysis first, Chinese state media warned on Thursday.
The deaths of at least five Chinese football fans have been linked to drinking or just plain over-excitement watching the World Cup, but a Beijing hospital is concerned about the rise in the number of patients losing control of their facial muscles.
“Staying up late while excited or agitated could weaken facial nerves and immunity, making one susceptible to paralysis,” the China Daily quoted Sun Liangui, dean of the Beijing Yijiyuan Facial Neurology Institute, as saying.
“Drinking too much alcohol can also reduce facial immunity.”
He said the institute had seen a 20 percent rise in the number of facial paralysis patients since the tournament began.
China is obsessed with football but is six hours ahead of Germany, meaning many of the games are shown late at night or in the early hours of the morning — peak drinking times.
Shanghai’s drunk soccer fans will be offered free taxi rides after watching matches in downtown bars and clubs.
“The scheme… will promote responsible driving and stop people driving under the influence,” the Shanghai Daily quoted traffic police as saying.
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