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Chinese Football Association offers apology

By Tang Zhe | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-25 07:31

Chinese Football Association offers apology

File photo of Jose Antonio Camacho [Photo/Asianewsphoto]


The Chinese Football Association has apologized to fans for its incompetence in managing and developing the country's domestic game, in the wake of a humiliating loss to Thailand and the firing of the national coach.

On Monday the association said it had reached an agreement with Jose Antonio Camacho to terminate his contract as national team coach, Xinhua News Agency reported.

However, the association said it is unfair to put all the blame on the head coach for China's poor performance at international level. It accepted its "inescapable responsibility" and said it will make every effort to strengthen the management of the national team.

"First, the selection standard of national players should be changed," the association said in a statement on Monday. "Apart from skill, a player should also possess a never-say-die spirit and sense of honor, which will be the prerequisites for gaining a national position.

"Players who perform passively will be excluded from the squad for the East Asian Cup."

As the association will also need to pay Camacho a large sum in compensation, it also vowed to revamp its hiring criteria and process, as well as eradicate legal loopholes and risks in contracts.

In explaining the reason for terminating Camacho's contract, the association said it was because the Spaniard's 22-month tenure had failed to meet its expectations and that the national team had fallen to its lowest point in the world rankings.

Xinhua reported that both sides have reached an agreement and are finalizing details.

Meanwhile, the association has started its search for a new head coach and backroom staff.

The Chinese national team will compete in the East Asian Cup in July, and has three Asian Cup qualifiers to play in October and November.

Among the many domestic and foreign candidates is fan favorite Marcello Lippi, the Italian coach who has led Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande to much success over the past two seasons.

However, the 65-year-old has told Evergrande players he will not consider any offer before his current contract ends, unless club owner Xu Jiayin receives instructions from higher up, Soccer News reported.

Coaches in the Chinese Super League have also turned down the chance of taking the national team's helm, including Gao Hongbo, Camacho's predecessor, who is now at Shanghai East Asia, and Shanghai Shenxin coach Zhu Jiong.

Fu Bo, who manages the China Under-22s, is likely to be appointed caretaker of the national side until a full-time replacement is found.


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