I played in a football tournament last weekend with my friend, Shone, and her women’s team. There were five teams in the tournament and we were the only women’s team. Going into it, I didn’t have high hopes for our chances. In fact, I expected to lose every game by a substantial score. We finished in third place, only losing two games! They let me hang around at forward (yay!) so I was lucky enough to score 8 goals that weekend.
The tournament was free for us because the team is sponsored by Shone’s friend. He pays for the uniforms, tournament fees, and frequently buys them dinner. Shone told me that when they play against men’s teams in regular games, the men on the other team cover the cost of the referees and the fields because, “this is China and it is always expected that the men will pay for women”. When I told Shone that I usually pay 50-70 kuai when I play with my men’s team, she was shocked, and told me that it was too much money. Shone laughed when she said, “the boys should always pay for you!”. If that were the case, I would’ve saved hundreds of dollars by now.