Thursday, June 14, 2007

China club wins A3 Cup from under-strength rivals

Shanghai Shenhua, the runners-up of the China Super League, beat under-strength Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan 3-1 to take the A3 tournament, which features the league winners of Japan, South Korea and China, as well as the runners-up of the host. CSL winners Shandong Luneng lost their final match to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma of South Korea 2-1 to finish in the second. China Football Federation vice president Xie Yalong was in no mood of celebration, saying that "Shenhua won over league champions of both Japan and South Korea, but it does not mean the Chinese soccer has any upperhands over their peers of the two countries."

CSL manager Lv Feng said earlier that "the Chinese soccer market is still pre-mature. The income of last season was not much enough, clubs depend too much on shareholders' enterprise, and the audience remain unstable without much attraction to the young people" and Lang Xiaonong, secretary general of the CSL Committee, explained that "the lack of a soccer culture in China is the key to the current situation of the Chinese league."

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