Friday, March 10, 2006

Call to "purify" Chinese Football's "sinful" ways

A Chinese political advisor has called for strict administration, public supervision and support for the resurrection of Chinese football. Self-discipline and stringent implementation of administrative measures are crucial for reining in match-fixing, collusion, group scuffle, gambling, drug taking, going whoring and other rampant scandals that have damaged the reputation of the football industry, said Yin Mingshan, a member of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body that is in a ten-day annual session.

Yin, an entrepreneur from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, also pleaded for more tolerant and constructive media reports for the sound development of the game. He called on fans to return to the courts and continue support the football that is suffering the most difficult period. "Chinese football is sick but please do not discard it," he said.

"Yin's remarks came just before the start of the third season of China's scandal-plagued Super League this weekend," the official government newsagency, Xinhua, reported. "Crowds last season shrank to an average of 10,500 per game and television ratings were down to a cumulative total of about 120 million, compared with the average attendance of 24,700 and the combined TV ratings of up to 500 million eight years ago when Chinese domestic football was at the peak of its popularity." .

Chinese Football Association director Lang Xiaonong has promised to "purify the Super League environment" and CFA chairman Xie Yalong told the clubs last month to mend their "sinful" ways or he would consider abandoning the league, according to media reports.

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