May was a busy month.
Changan Ford has announced a deal worth as much as 390 million yuan (US $63 million) over four years to become an official senior partner of the Chinese Super League, as well as the league’s promotion and development partner and its official vehicle supplier.
The World Snooker Championships have begun in Sheffield, UK, with world number 2 Ding Junhui looking to add the only major title missing from his resume. Having won five ranking tournaments already this season, he continued his good form, taking a 6-3 lead over Michael Wasley in their best-of-19 first round match, and making the highest break of the tournament so far (136). Continue reading Weekly Wrap: F1 F-up, Becks is back, Ding’s title bid and Perfect Pitch
Roads & Kingdoms has an excellent long-form piece by Gabrielle Jaffe profiling the fans of Chinese Super League team Beijing Guoan, exploring the history of the beautiful game in China and delving into the culture of supporter groups around the country.
For those unfamiliar with the capital’s sole CSL team, Beijing Guoan’s crowds last season would rank them eighth in the current list of English Premier League average attendances – above Everton, Spurs and West Ham.
There are lots of highlights, including this:
Wednesday’s Asian Cup draw paired China with Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. Given those countries’ reputations, expect global headlines about a literal Group of Death:
- China – estimated to execute far more people than the rest of the world combined
- Saudi Arabia – no. 4 in the global list with 79 executions in 2013
- Uzbekistan – has what the IHF called a “wide-scale violation of virtually all basic human rights”, with the current government blamed for massacring hundreds in 2005. Continue reading China’s Group Of Death
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.
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…
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.
The Chinese Super League season kicked off this past weekend, and goals were few and far between. Ominously, though, the top of the table is already occupied by Guangzhou Evergrande…
That’s Online (also in the print versions) has a nice profile of Darci Liu, China’s first and so far only female professional surfer, who, amazingly, only learnt to swim at the age of 18: Continue reading Sports round-up: CSL, surfing, golf, tennis and the invisible Paralympics