October 16 – Song Kai has been named as the new chairman of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), China’s state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.
The previous top brass at the CFA were arrested for corruption and bribery, including former chairman Chen Xuyuan and vice-president Du Zhaocai. Kai has now been tasked to lead the organisation to calmer waters.
Sun Wen, Yuan Yongqing, Yang Xu and Xu Jiren will serve as his vice-presidents.
China’s football has been a downhill slide for some years after ambitions to establish the Chinese Super League and the national team as forces to be reckoned with backfired due to a lack of good governance, sound finances and grassroots development.
The Chinese women’s national team, the current Asian champions, featured at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand but failed to reach the knockout stages from a group that included England, Denmark and Haiti.
The men have only qualified once for the global finals, in 2002. They will play South Korea, Thailand and the winners of Singapore and Guam’s first-round encounter in the second group round of Asian World Cup qualifying.
China have qualified for the 2023 Asian Cup to be played in Qatar in January-February 2024.
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