Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Latest

China's sports minister sets new goals for men's soccer

By Sun Xiaochen | | Updated: 2023-03-12 14:33
Share - WeChat

China's sports minister vows to curb the continuous slump in the country's men's soccer national program, beginning with crackdown on corruption and the promotion of youth participation.

With the decline of Team China's international performances a nationwide concern, the country's soccer development, especially on the men's side, needs an overhaul reform with emphasis on the fight against corruption within the governing body and focus on youth promotion at the core, said Gao Zhidan, minister of the General Administration of Sport of China.

"For a long period of time, the development of the men's soccer program has failed to live up to the expectation of the Party leadership and fans, with the men's national team's lackluster performances and a series of chaos involving the sector drawing concerns from across the country," Gao, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, said on Sunday while taking interviews after a plenary meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

"To develop world-class prowess in the three collective big-ball games (soccer, volleyball and basketball) represents the true global sporting power. Yet, that's where we are falling far behind the world right now."

Underlined by the men's team's failure to qualify for the high-profile FIFA World Cup finals for five times in a row, the sluggish development of Chinese men's soccer, hampered by corruption scandals involving top governing body officials and renowned coaches, has been a pressing issue for the country to realize its ambition of developing into a world sporting powerhouse by 2035, a national goal highlighted in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).

As the latest of China's top anti-graft watchdog's scrutiny on soccer administration, Chinese Football Association president Chen Xuyuan was placed under investigation for suspected violations of discipline and law, according to announcement by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Commission of Supervision.

Chen's investigation is linked to former men's team head coach Li Tie, who was placed under investigation in November by the national disciplinary inspection team as well as the Hubei supervision commission for corruption allegations involving his work with the national team and his previous job as coach of domestic league club Wuhan Zall.

No details of the investigation have been released yet.

Hampered by the counterproductive management and the pandemic's influence, the Chinese Super League, the country's top-flight league, is suffering from lack of media exposure, fan support and financial investment from club owners, raising concerns over a looming impact on the sport's overall profile.

"We've been working on solutions to solve the serious problems and tackle the corruption issues with strong measures and relentless determination," said Gao.

"To strengthen the sport's foundation for sustainable development, we should also provide greater supports, in policy, funding and human resource, to facilitate the promotion of youth soccer training at the grassroots, either at commercial youth clubs or on campus.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349