On the ball | Where to watch FIFA World Cup game in Beijing

By Jim Boyce | The planet’s most important sports are done for the summer, with the NBA and NHL finals just finished, but for those who want more, I suppose soccer will have to do. The World Cup set to kick off—soccer, kick off, get it?—today and I’ve listed some bars below where you can catch the action.

But first, I’ll repeat the three things that would make soccer aka football better:

1. Use video replays. Oh gee, a team has to wait four years for another chance to win because of a referee’s brutal call? Video replays would help eliminate such travesties. These could be limited to specific plays, such as penalty kicks, red cards or goals, and to one or two appeals per team each half.

2. If a team moves the ball over center, then takes it back across that line, it loses possession. None of this kicking the ball all the way down the field to your own goalie bullshit. Such a rule would speed up the game, intensify half-field defense, and make harder to waste time.

3. Move the ball back another five yards for penalty shootouts. Enough gimme shots. Make the shooters word harder and give the goalie a chance. Each team gets five shots: the team with the most goals at the end wins. If the teams are still tied, they do another five shots each.

Boom, boom and boom. Add these rules and it might make soccer more interesting.

Anyway, a few places showing the World Cup.

Paddy O’Shea’s. This place has been top spot for viewing the past two World Cups, IMHO, and there is no reason to expect anything different given a United Nations’ breadth of customers, more than ten screens and cool souvenir T-shirts. If you’re a cider fan, it’s doubly good, as this place has the city’s biggest lineup.

Irish Volunteer: This bar is slated to close at month’s end—at a minimum for renovations and possibly for good—so enjoy it while you can! The IV plans to show at least the games that start before midnight.

Joe’s Bar & Grill. My favorite new sports joint of the past year: cozy confines, three big screens and decent food near the Workers Stadium West clubs. Not sure if Joe’s is hosting any team’s fans but they had some nice gatherings for the Peru and New Zealand qualifiers.

Groovy Schiller’s. Show up to watch your nation play for those early morning matches and, with ID, get a free drink, says manager Jack Zhou. Kitchen is open until 3 AM.

Caravan. Expect all of the World Cup matches to be screened and, given the food focus, for this to be home base for Moroccan fans.

Q Mex. All three venues will be screening games. Shuangjing people, this is a good chance to check out the new Q in your neighborhood.

Q Bar. This bar has a two-meter wide screen and solid sound system—I watched the 2016 Super Bowl here and it was good. Enjoy soccer, cocktails, and snacks from the new menu.

There are plenty of other places screening games, including Beer Mania, The Local, Ramo, Nanjie and Eudora Station, and I’ll update this list soon. With so many options, perhaps just pick your favorite place and use the World Cup as an excuse to indulge more than usual. Or, you can just stay home and watch highlights from the NBA and NHL finals.

By the way, thinking about sports and bars made me miss the Goose & Duck, Union and The Den.


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