Rowan SimonsChina is paying a high price for replacing sacked national football coach Jose Antonio Camach, but no money in the world can help Chinese football, even if they can get Marcello Lippi, tells soccer expert Rowan Simons to AFP.


The Chinese Football Association (CFA) is currently locked in compensation talks with Camacho’s lawyers which could result in them paying him more than $9 million, reports say. But despite the huge outlay needed to entice Lippi as national coach, the government-funded CFA is expected to get their man.

“The man that the CFA really wants is Marcello Lippi,” said Rowan Simons, an author and prominent commentator on Chinese football.

But he told AFP: “The idea that a good coach can make bad players into a good team at the world level is fanciful at best, although it is the principle that the CFA has followed faithfully for over 50 years.” Tom Byer, the head technical advisor of the CFA-administered schools football programme, agreed China had too few world-class players and said there were deep-rooted causes behind the issue.

Only about 200,000 schoolchildren play organised football at least three times per week, he said, and the priority in China’s intensive education system is for youngsters to achieve academic success at the expense of sports, particularly as most families are prohibited from having more than one child.

More in AFP.

Rowan Simons is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

China Weekly Hangout

The China Weekly Hangout discussed on 27 June the upcoming (or perhaps already ongoing) cyber wars. Are the cyber wars a new cold war in a new coat? Joined by media lecturer Paul Fox from HKU, security consultant Mathew Hoover from Hong Kong and China-Africa scholar Winslow Robertson from Washington DC. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra, of the China Speakers Bureau, from Lausanne, Switzerland.

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