China aims to become soccer powerhouse by 2050
With China still struggling to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the country has set its goal on transforming into a worldleading soccer power by 2050 through youth promotion and league development.
A long-term development outline was unveiled on Monday aimed at developing China into a dominant power in Asia by 2030 and a world elite competitor two decades later.
The goals echo President Xi Jinping’s expressed wishes of last March to see China qualify, host and eventually win the prestigious World Cup.
While China did advance to the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, team China, which qualified for first World Cup in 2002, seems unlikely to progress this time around as an underdog in the 12-team pool, where only four spots are offered.
The Chinese Super League, the country’s top professional league, lured a high-profile legion of foreign players with a total of $373 million in transfer fees to play in its 2016 season.