CFA of­fi­cial ex­plains chal­lenge of keep­ing up

New Straits Times - - Sport -

KUALA LUMPUR: Chi­nese Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (CFA) vice pres­i­dent Zhang Jian says the coun­try ’s foot­ball au­thor­i­ties are fight­ing to keep pace with the rapid growth of the club game in China.

The Chi­nese Su­per League has un­der­gone mas­sive growth over the last three years, with trans­fer fees and wages sky-rock­et­ing as the bat­tle for do­mes­tic and re­gional supremacy has in­ten­si­fied among wealthy own­ers.

But while the lo­cal gov­ern­ing body has sought to keep the ram­pant spend­ing un­der con­trol, Fifa Coun­cil mem­ber Zhang be­lieves his or­gan­i­sa­tion has found it a chal­lenge to stay ahead fol­low­ing ma­jor re­forms within the CFA last year.

“We’re in the first stage of our pro­fes­sional foot­ball de­vel­op­ment and more and more money is com­ing into the mar­ket and that makes the league very com­pet­i­tive and a lot of peo­ple are watch­ing the matches,” Zhang said.

“The Chi­nese pro­fes­sional league has only 20 years’ his­tory so, com­pared with Europe, where they have played for more than a hun­dred years, we’re a very young league.

“But we’re de­vel­op­ing very fast and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment is now very fo­cused on foot­ball. The foot­ball league is very hot, but our reg­u­la­tions and our ad­min­is­tra­tion must fit the league.

“We are fac­ing some chal­lenges. The first chal­lenge is be­cause of the fast im­prove­ment the clubs are mak­ing, they are de­vel­op­ing very fast but the sit­u­a­tion is that the CFA has only just re­formed and has a new pol­icy di­rec­tion.

“In the old sys­tem, when the CFA pub­lished some poli­cies ev­ery­one would fol­low but now be­cause the league is grow­ing we are try­ing to make a new sys­tem... now the CFA and clubs are try­ing to make sure ev­ery­thing fits for the new model.”

Spend­ing by Chi­nese clubs has been ram­pant with the Asian trans­fer fee record bro­ken three times over an 18-month pe­riod be­fore new mea­sures im­ple­mented on the eve of the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow ap­peared to tem­po­rar­ily cool the mar­ket. Reuters

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