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Remixing the master plan

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-11 08:27

Remixing the master plan

Eran Zahavi of Guangzhou R&F (right) battles for the ball against a Suning player in their Chinese Super League match in Guangzhou on Wednesday. R&F won 4-1.[Photo/Xinhua]

CFA acknowledges need for bold new vision to achieve goals

Despite years of concentrated efforts to fire up Chinese soccer, the nation's hope of one day capturing the World Cup seems remote at best.

Some observers have opined that most of the previous efforts were made only to rectify defects in a flawed system for the sport's development. Others have taken the Chinese Football Association to task, blaming the state-run system and obsolete management strategies.

It was therefore encouraging when a chief official from the CFA acknowledged its lagging management and expressed the body's determination to catch up in a recent interview with CCTV.

"The reason Chinese soccer lags behind is mainly because the management of the Chinese Football Association is lagging behind," said CFA vice-chairman Li Yuyi.

"First, we lack scientific plans. What needed to be done in 2017 was only assigned in 2017. Without a budget, how can anything get done? Second, in our country we go back and forth to report and discuss, which can take six months. There is no vision or foresight. Without these, how can anything be done?"

Li said a number of specific plans are on the CFA's new agenda.

"The first step is to create a good environment for young soccer players. At least five million youngsters aged 8 to 17 could join the sport," he said. "The second goal is to develope our league into one of the top ones in Asia. Third, we want to lift China's women's national team into the world's top six."

Li said if the CFA has the courage to face its management problems and the motivation to fix them, more efforts for reform and development can be expected.

Those will include cultivating soccer culture throughout society, establishing a professional and effective management system in accordance with the rules of the sport's global development and China's national situation, vigorously developing youth soccer and improving infrastructure.

Meanwhile, in order to provide more opportunities for young players, the CFA stipulated that Chinese Super League teams must start at least one U23 player in each game last season, There was a loophole, however, as the player could be substituted after several minutes.

Report said the CFA is aware of the problem and will amend the rule to require teams to keep at least one U23 player on the pitch at all times in the new season.

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