China soc­cer group picks a Cana­dian to man­age its ref­er­ees

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG RU in Beijing

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

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