riceMost of the At the time, Sima Nan was a cheerleader for his country and the ruling Communist Party. His posts on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, are often vicious towards the West. But on Feb. 20, his anger was sparked by events at home. In a lengthy message to his nearly 3.2 million followers, he sharply criticized the Chinese men’s football team, suggesting that “fundamental flaws” in the game also hindered the country’s efforts to compete on the international political stage.
Many Chinese fans agree with Mr Sima’s pessimistic assessment that football has let China down. Their mood couldn’t be more sour. In the World Cup final held in Qatar at the end of last year, the Chinese team was absent again. It has only qualified once, in 2002, and even then was eliminated after losing three games without scoring a goal. Another dark cloud now hangs over the sport as a result of a series of arrests at the top. It is the most sweeping anti-corruption campaign in Chinese football since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to power in 2012 and set out to make the country a soccer powerhouse.
The first high-level target is former men’s national team coach Li Tie, who was arrested last November. In January, two more people were detained: Liu Yi (Certified Financial Analyst), and current senior manager Chen Yongliang Certified Financial Analyst. The latest to be detained is Chen Xuyuan, Certified Financial Analystthe president. On February 14, the government agency responsible for sports said Mr Chen was being investigated for “serious breaches of discipline and law”. Also on the same day, news emerged that an executive at a major real estate firm who had served on the board of a provincial football club was being questioned. Rumors swirled on social media that other “big fish” might have taken the bait.
No details of any alleged crimes were released. But Chinese football is notorious for corruption involving match-fixing and “black calls”, as crooked referees are known.State media compared the campaign to another massive anti-corruption drive in 2009 that left several Certified Financial Analyst Chiefs, referees, coaches and players. It also prompts a lot of self-examination about the root cause of the discomfort. Many have accused officials of being overly involved in the cash-rich industry. In 2015, the government unveiled a reform plan. It aims to reduce the role of the state in football management.this Certified Financial Analyst was cut off.
2019 Appointment of recently detained Chen Xuyuan Certified Financial AnalystThe president is a sign of change. He was the first businessman to get the job. Mr Chen was previously the boss of a state-owned port operator in Shanghai that bought a local football club and had success.exist Certified Financial AnalystHowever, some of his decisions reflect the government’s interventionist style, such as capping wages and transfer fees. He even demanded that the club stop naming itself after its sponsors. These are blows to the football industry, which has also been affected by the country’s strict epidemic control measures (they were lifted in December).
In China, where political debate is stifled, complaints about football sometimes seem like a mockery of the way the country works. Nationalist blogger Sima Nan’s Weibo posts are blocked by Chinese censors.but Economic ObserverA newspaper in Beijing conducted what could be construed as a mild dig. “In football, the lack of separation between government and society, government and business … inevitably breeds corruption,” it said. ■
Subscribers can sign up to our new weekly newsletter, The Drum Tower, to learn how the world shapes China — and how China shapes the world.