China pushes for radical soccer reforms
The soccer reform in China has entered a historical stage on Monday as a detailed plan to adjust the sport’s governing body was published to boost its management and status in the future.
China’s soccer reform has taken an eye-catching step forward as the top sport body, the General Administration of Sport of China (CAS), pledged on Monday to relinquish its administrative grip on the Chinese Football Association (CFA) through a personnel reshuffle, which will see its officials and staffs withdraw from CFA management. This will make the association a full-fledged non-governmental organization with independent operation and financial system.
As part of a comprehensive soccer reform plan issued by the State Council in March, delinking the semi-administrative CFA from the top sport governing body has been a key for overhauling the entire soccer management system in China in a bid to make it more professional and promote its development.
“The CFA is the performer of the reform and also the conductor of the reform. Before the delinking, it cannot make its own decisions sometimes. Now it has full independence on finance, and it has to actively deal with and solve some possible contradictions and issues,” said Liu Peng, director of the CAS.
According to the revised CFA constitution, the new leadership will be elected at its 47-member congress at the end of the year, when the association’s new organizational structure is established.
“Many tasks concerning the reform will be completed within this year. The member congress at the end of the year will definitely be an important point. Some main missions will be by and large completed,” said Zhang Jian, vice-president of the CFA.
“I think people don’t have to focus on individuals. We should pay attention to the duty of the future president of CFA, such as what he should do and how to lead the development of the sport of football. We should also focus on what a team it should set up to support the president,” said Wang Dazhao, a senior sports reporter at People’s Daily, the country’s leading newspaper.
The reform initiative was announced in February at a top-level meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.
The overall plan showed the determination to meet the needs of people to popularize the sport across the country and finally promote the level of the national team.
“Revitalizing soccer is a must for building China into a sport powerhouse and also the earnest hope of the people,” said the overall plan of Chinese soccer reform and development.
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