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Under-fire Chinese football to face more chaos after radical changes
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08:10, August 09, 2007

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After the Asian Cup fiasco and the disappointing Shenyang Four Nations Tournament, Chinese football will be thrown into a more dangerous situation as a new round of big radical changes are likely to destroy the whole thing.

The first possible change is the plan of setting up a big national team led by present Olympic team coach Ratomir Dujkovic to take part in both the Olympic Games and the World Cup qualifiers; while the second one is to thoroughly change the schedules of next season's Chinese Super League by creating a new system in which teams are put into two different areas according to their geographical location ( the North and the South).

Officials of the State General Administration of Sports raised these suggestions to the Chinese Football Association to let them take strong measures to ensure that football will not be a negative matter in the Beijing Olympics.

However, while the first plan may help the young Olympic side get more practice at a higher level, and the second plan may curtail the time table of the originally nine-month super league to merely three months to let the Olympic team get more training time, the costs are nearly disastrous.

Though Dujkovic has experienced enough to lead a young team with some talents and big potential, it's impossible for the Serbian to coach two teams simultaneously under the current situation. The Chinese national team don't have enough quality players, and the Olympic side are too young to deal with big international occasions as the World Cup qualifiers, which begin in October with China to face Myanmar in the first round. Even if Dujkovic enrolls several national team players to the Olympic side, the risks are still high.

Local media has reported that Dujkovic refused to coach two teams simultaneously and is not willing to take over the national team until the end of the 2008 Olympic Games.

In view of the new league system, the big cut in the time table may topple the pillars of the professional league, and shake the roots of Chinese football. The big change may lead to huge losses to the clubs commercially and force the fans to leave or at least lost their interest in the league. Most football experts think it is a kind of retrogression, as the similar plan was denied three years ago.

China suffered an early exit from the group stage at last month's Asian Cup after a 3-0 defeat by Uzbekistan, which is their worse result at the continent's biggest tournament in 27 years. The humiliating failure forced coach Zhu Guanghu to resign after that and now everthing is in a total mess.

Chinese football has been linked with dark things as match-fixing, gambling, violence with the development of professional league. And a serious shortage of grassroots players and the utilitarian view of the sports governing body just make the matter worse.

Source: Xinhua

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