Sports / China

Chinese soccer head Wei Di steps down

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-17 15:00

Chinese soccer head Wei Di steps down

CFA Vice-President Wei Di attends a seminar for China's youth soccer training and development system in Dalian city, Liaoning province, in this Nov 4, 2011 file photo. [Photo/CFP]

BEIJING - Wei Di, head of Chinese soccer's governing body, will step down after three years in charge, said a senior official from General Sports Administration of China on Thursday.

Wei, 58, is close to the age of retirement and the national teams at all level scored poor results during his charge, the official, who declined to be named, told Xinhua.

"Furthermore, we must prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics from now on," he said.

Wei Di will be replaced by Zhang Jian, the director-general of Policy and Regulation Department of General Sports Adminstration of China, he noted, but refused to disclose the accurate date of the change and other details.

Wei was appointed in 2010 as the head of the Administration Center for Soccer by the General Administration of Sports, the governmental organization to manage all sports in China.

Chinese soccer head Wei Di steps down

CFA President Cai Zhenhua and CFA Vice-President Wei Di, right, attend the press conference for a pilot program to explore new venues to develop soccer in five Chinese cities - Qingdao, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Dalian and Wuhan - chosen by the CFA and the General Administration of Sport of China, in Beijing, Dec 12, 2012. [Photo/CFP]

During his charge, the Chinese men's national team failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, and did not survive the group stage in Asian Cup. The Chinese women's squad, for the first time, did not enter the 2011 World Cup finals.

However, Wei really did something in the improvenment of the Chinese Super League management, the nurturing of young talents and the battle against match-fixing scandals. But these could not improve the level of the Chinese soccer in short time.

Wei Di's efforts to help Chinese soccer:

The new approach to save Chinese soccer

Soccer chief warns against 'rebound in corruption'

New fund set up to develop youth soccer

Dalian Wanda Group back to support Chinese soccer

Chinese soccer authorities to investigate bone-testing cheats

New soccer boss Wei Di appointed

Battle against match-fixing scandals:

Ex-soccer chief Nan Yong charged with taking bribes

'Patriotic' referee bribed by local soccer bodies

High-profile former soccer stars arrested

Ex-soccer chief charged with taking 1.7 million in bribes

Special coverage: Tackling Football Corruption

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