Rowan Simons

China´s soccer clubs have been spending unprecedented amounts of capital in buying foreign players and improving high-profile stadiums and other infrastructure, hoping to win the World Cup. But the basis is wrong, so the efforts will fail, says Beijing-based soccer expert Rowan Simons to AFP,


The world’s most populous nation has 25 times more people than England, but lags far behind its 37,000 football clubs, says Rowan Simons, a football author and founder of a private football club in the capital.

Without grassroots teams and a deep pool of players, he said, “It’s irrelevant how much money the government puts into it — football can never flourish unless people love it.”

“In Chinese there’s just no history of civic society, that’s really at the heart of it,” Simons told AFP. “That’s why top-down national funding will never work.”

More at AFP.

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