China imposed a 100% tax for transfers of foreign players to loss-making soccer clubs – in fact all. A desperate measure that shows China is very far away from playing, less alone winning the World Cup, as president Xi Jinping wants it, says Beijing-based soccer expert Rowan Simons at Sky News.
China’s president, Xi Jinping, a self-avowed football fan, has said his ambition is for the country to host – and ultimately win – the World Cup.
But on current form, it would be a huge achievement just to qualify for it, with the national team currently languishing 82nd in the FIFA world rankings, below Benin and the Faroe Islands.
Rowan Simons, who founded the Beijing grassroots network, Club Football, has been trying to build a football culture in the country for the last three decades.
“China came to this very late,” he said, “It started with a professional league, but it didn’t do any of the development work that took over 100 years of building up a football culture, it still needs to do that.
“China has to start the same way every other country did – and that’s kids coming out to play, falling in love with the game, and then contributing to it by their participation throughout their lives.”
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