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CFA boss rips national teams

Updated: 2014-09-29 07:09
By Xinhua in Incheon, South Korea (China Daily)

 CFA boss rips national teams

Kroekrit Thawikan (right) of Thailand battles China's Liao Lisheng during their Asian Games match at South Korea's Ansan Stadium last week. Thailand's 2-0 win eliminated China. Ed Jones / Agence France-Presse

Official says lack of planning, poor coaching responsible for 'deep crisis'

Cai Zhenhua, president of the Chinese Football Association, said on Saturday that Chinese soccer has plunged to a new low and the men's side is just rated as "second or third class" in Asia.

China's Under-23 national team was eliminated 2-0 by Thailand in the round of 16 at the Asian Games while its women's team, which had reached at least the semifinals at the Asiad since 1990, lost to the DPRK 1-0 in the quarterfinals.

"Obviously, we were no match for Thailand," said Cai, who is also deputy minister of the General Administration of Sports, China's sports ministry. "Victory has seemed just like a dream."

Cai, the former head coach of the national table tennis team which helped China conquer the world, said: "As the CFA president, I am worried more than anybody else. The fans have very high expectations on Chinese football but it has broken their hearts all the time.

"These pains will still last a period of time in the future. We have not done enough in the past few years and that's the reason why we are deep in a crisis today."

The 53-year-old said it will take 10 years for China to become a strong team in Asia.

"We need to be patient," he said. "We need to do some solid work in the next 10 years to narrow the gap between us and Asia's top teams.

"I am not blaming our coaches. But the level of the coaching staff (on the men's team) is lagging far behind world class. They cannot even compare with Chinese coaches from other sports.

"Chinese football has reached a new low but we cannot feel emotionally numb. We must make reforms to try to find a way that is suitable for the development of China. In 10 years time, I hope we can see our efforts bear some fruit."



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