LGBTQ athletes in China: Tolerated at best

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01/19/2022

Li Ying is back with the Steel Roses. New national team coach Shui Qingxia, the first woman at the helm of the Chinese women’s national footall team, has named the 29-year-old striker to the squad for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India, which kicks off on January 20. At first glance, this should come as no surprise. After all, at the 2018 tournament, Li scored seven goals in five matches to win the Golden Boot. The forward also scored the Steel Roses’ only goal at the 2019 World Cup in France, getting the winner in their 1-0 group-stage victory over South Africa. However, Li, who has scored 30 goals in her more than 100 games for the national team, was dropped for last summer’s Tokyo Olympics. There was much speculation that this had to do with her having come out.

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