Cai to chair Chinese Football Association?

Updated: 2011-12-05 17:44

By Yan Weijue (

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The Chinese Football Association (CFA) will welcome a new chairman after nearly 20 years of stagnant administrative performance, sources said.

Cai to chair Chinese Football Association?

Cai Zhenhua, Vice-Minister of General Administration of Sport of China is seen at a CFA's press conference on signing Jose Antonio Camacho as head coach of the men's national football team on Aug 14, 2011.  [Photo/CFP]

Cai Zhenhua, Vice-Minister of General Administration of Sport of China, is expected to take over the position from retired predecessor Yuan Weimin later this month, according to a Soccer News report.

Although the CFA is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, it does associate itself with the General Administration of Sport of China (GAS). The CFA's chairman is traditionally a GAS official in spite of his ceremonial role as a hired Executive Vice-President, currently Wei Di since 2010, is essentially in charge of CFA's affairs.

Cai will be elected as the new CFA chairman at a national football congress that is expected to be convened later this month, sources from the GAS told the newspaper. He will take over the position from Yuan Weimin, who was appointed in 1992 as CFA's chairman and retired as the Minister of GAS in 2004.

Yuan's title at the CFA has been nominal as the football congress, which is supposed to be held every four years, has only met twice (in 1979 and 2003) since the CFA rejoined FIFA in 1979 due to a number of different and complicated reasons, the nationwide soccer corruption crackdown in 2009 and 2010 being the latest setback.

Engaging in football matters as the GAS's Vice Minister should be easy for Cai, who has actually been doing this for the past year at the authorities' request. But assuming the position of CFA chairman will be a more proper manner in which to manage its business and, according to GAS, is an indication of an improved management and classification.