China enhances support for football
Updated: 2012-12-27 17:10
BEIJING - China's top sports official said here on Wednesday that more favorable policies and financial support will be provided for the development of the popular ball sports, especially football, by the government.
Liu Peng, director of China's General Administration of Sports, made the remark in his annual report, at an ongoing conference of the sports officials.
Liu said China's national teams of ball games, especially those of football, basketball and volleyball, failed to achieve their goals in the recent competitions and some of them had even lost their strength. He urged his colleagues to be alerted and determined, and to take actions.
Liu emphasized a lot on the development of football.
"Football is in recovery in China, with the league matches in better order, the sponsors with higher confidence and more school students engaged in the sport," he said.
"But the fact that Chinese football is lagging behind our competitors cannot be changed in a single day. We must strive for its prosperity in the long run."
Six measures of boosting football development were mentioned in Liu's report, including scientific planning, improving the youth training system, and reform of the professional league.
Xiao Tian, deputy director of the General Administration, said that a few institutional obstacles need to be removed for the development of the ball games, while the leading position of the government should be assured.
"We can't copy the exact mode of the Premium League or the NBA. We should explore our own path," Xiao said. "But we may also borrow some experience from Japan and South Korea."
A powerhouse of sports champions, China is short of, and longing for international titles of popular ball sports. The country's professional leagues of football and basketball are also in a boom, attracting some high-profile international elites to join.
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