Across China: Soccer dreams fly high on China's plateau

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Publish Time: 2019-05-30 Author: From: Xinhua

Weeks ago, when Tsemu Chatse was gathering caterpillar fungus in the mountains, he received a phone call inviting him to join a soccer team to fight for the honor of his home county at a tournament in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The call put him in a dilemma. Caterpillar fungus, one of the most precious medical materials in traditional Chinese medicine, is the primary source of income for his family, but playing football has always been his passion.

When he finally gained permission from his parents to play, he was too excited to fall asleep.

The tournament began on May 20 in the western Sichuan plateau, with an elevation of over 4,000 meters. A total of nine teams, each representing a county in the prefecture, were eager to be crowned champion.

As the goalkeeper, Tsemu Chatse's excellent skills and calmness helped him save several key goals, leading his team to finish third in the tournament.

Though already 32 years old, Tsemu Chatse's love for soccer began early. Having learned about football on television when he was young, he fell in love with the game and has since spent his spare time polishing his football skills.

As a kid, Tsemu Chatse and his friends even played with bare feet and used cloth balls since getting a real football was not easy at the time.

"To me, the happiest moment is playing on the court," said Tsemu Chatse, who is known in the county for his brilliant football skills.

He stated that he has seen an increased number of opportunities to play football in recent years.

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