China soccer group picks a Canadian to manage its referees
The Chinese Football Association (CFA) recently nominated a ChineseCanadian to be director of the referee office.
Liu Hu, also known as Tiger Liu, will be in charge of managing and training referees for the professional soccer leagues in China. Liu is a retired FIFA referee and former referee director of the Canadian Soccer Association. His nomination was announced by CFA on December 30.
It was reported that the CFA hoped that Liu could help China’s professional soccer leagues establish an international-level referee training system.
Liu, 53, was born in western China’s Qinghai Province and became a national soccer referee in early 1992. Later he immigrated to Canada with his wife.
After he became a national referee for the Canadian Soccer League in 1997, Liu started to referee in Major League Soccer and important soccer games of the U.S Open Cup and Canadian Championship.
He also became a registered FIFA referee in 2001 and was nominated as the director of the referee office of the Canadian Soccer Association in 2011.
It was also reported that the CFA, which has been launching a series of reforms, expected under Liu’s leadership, the referee system of Chinese professional soccer, which was haunted by the corruption, could be cleaner and more professional.
A nationwide anti-corruption campaign in 2009, found corruption at all levels, including soccer officials, clubs, referees, and players. Several were exposed for cheating, convicted and jailed.
Soccer analysts in Chinese media believe Liu could bring positive change to China and also pointed out that he faces a very challenging job and a complicated soccer environment.
In a previous interview with Xinhua News Agency, Liu said the Chinese soccer referee system should be more professional.
“In Canada and the USA, soccer referees are employed and under management by a third-party company which can safeguard influence from the professional soccer leagues, but in China it is totally different,” said Liu.
Liu Hu, director of the referees’ office for the Chinese Football Association