Tag Archives: CFA

Is Xi Jinping’s love of soccer a double-edged sword?

There’s a particular official within Chinese soccer circles who has developed a habit of starting each press conference or meeting with the words “I don’t know anything about football, but…” The intent is clear: if (when) this all goes south (again), it’s not my fault.

Xi Jinping at Croke Park in Feb 2012
Xi Jinping at Croke Park in Feb 2012

The state’s control of Chinese football is a large reason for its poor performance over the years: what is needed is a long-term plan, but Chinese officialdom rewards short-term thinking.

Having a man in charge of the country who loves the game would appear to be a positive, but this week’s Sports Talk column looks at how Chinese President Xi Jinping’s love of soccer may not actually be such a good thing for the sport after all…

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CSL fires another blank with dud deal

For all the back-slapping about the CSL’s new title sponsor – a four-year deal with Ping An Insurance worth 150 million per year – in reality it’s just the latest in a long list of short-sighted moves by Chinese football authorities.

pingan Continue reading CSL fires another blank with dud deal

China sneaks into Asian Cup through back door

Travelling Chinese soccer fans had better start saving up for a busy 2015.

China qualifies for Asian Cup, despite another desperate performance
China qualifies for the Asian Cup, despite another desperate performance

Days after accepting an invitation to play in the Copa America in Chile in June next year (subject to confirmation from the AFC), China will start 2015 in Australia playing in the Asian Cup after qualifying on Wednesday night.

But, as usual, China did it the hard way.

Continue reading China sneaks into Asian Cup through back door

Football Focus: China enters Copa America, Li Tie returns to Everton

Lots of soccer news at the moment…

As per the excellent Wild East Football, China has accepted an invitation into the 2015 Copa America in Chile, as one of Conmebol’s two regular guest slots. No one will be expecting much from the Chinese, but competing at this level can only help the country’s quest to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Chinese players prepare to face Iraq in their Asian Cup qualifier on March 5
Chinese players prepare to face Iraq in their Asian Cup qualifier on March 5

Continue reading Football Focus: China enters Copa America, Li Tie returns to Everton

Why Reggie is doomed to fail in China

The news that French football manager Alain Perrin (pictured below) has been appointed to lead the Chinese national team has caught most of the media by surprise, with my thoughts summarized in this Beijing Morning Post article (Chinese).

The new boss of the Chinese men's soccer team
The new boss of the Chinese men’s soccer team

“Reggie”, as he was known in the UK – after the hapless TV character Reginald Perrin – when he briefly managed Portsmouth in the Premier League nearly a decade ago, seems to have lost his way and it is highly unlikely that he can get his career back on track in China.

Continue reading Why Reggie is doomed to fail in China

Premier League’s China deal raises more questions than answers

First it was David Beckham, now it’s the entire English Premier League. After Becks made three visits to China this year to make money as a special ambassador for the Chinese Super League, a deal has been signed between the English Premier League and the Chinese Super League (CSL), to coincide with UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s current trip to China.

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Graeme Le Saux shows he’s still got it

Continue reading Premier League’s China deal raises more questions than answers

Weekly Wrap: diving, sliding and Camacho

Hong Kong has been drawing lots of negative attention this week – specifically the semi-flooded state of the Hong Kong Stadium pitch, on which the Barclays Asia Trophy is being played. It consists of 3 EPL teams and a local side sliding through puddles under the guise of vaguely competitive soccer.

Hong Kong pitch
The Beautiful Game
Picture credit: Getty/The Telegraph

Continue reading Weekly Wrap: diving, sliding and Camacho

Weekly Wrap: Manny, golf prodigies and the return of match-fixing

There have been a couple of fantastic, long-form articles written in recent days about sport in this part of the world. The first comes from Brook Larmer, author of the 2005 book Operation Yao Ming which details the rise of China’s most famous sporting son. Writing in the New York Times, Larmer turns his attention to golf, describing a fascinating picture of the wealthy, driven parents of kids as young as eight essentially creating their own mini versions of the state-backed sports schools that have been so successful in churning out Olympians. Here’s an extract:

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Photo credit: New York Times

Continue reading Weekly Wrap: Manny, golf prodigies and the return of match-fixing