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Famous face to help regain CSL face

By Sun Xiaochen  (China Daily)

08:37, February 22, 2013

David Beckham is expected to generate more headlines than his team's clash with Olympique Marseille as the former England captain will make his first appearance at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Sunday. (

Beckham will become ambassador for CSL as soccer recovers from scandals

David Beckham is coming to promote the Chinese Super League, but how far his "ambassadorship" role will go toward helping cure Chinese soccer's damaged image abroad remains to be seen.

Although the Chinese Football Association hasn't made the official announcement, Beckham's highly-anticipated China tour, in which he will be appointed the CSL's ambassador, was confirmed by the International Management Group.

"Yes, we are indeed organizing his visit to China as the ambassador," said an IMG official who asked to speak anonymously because the deal hasn't been announced.

IMG, a marketing partner of the CFA which linked the CSL with the British soccer star, refused to provide any more details about the impending visit.

"Everything, including the schedule and logistical arrangements, haven't been finalized. All the information will go public when the CFA makes an official announcement next week," the official said.

According to a Beijing Youth Daily report, the CFA expects Beckham to attend the opening ceremony of the 2013 CSL season on March 8 as the league celebrates the 20th anniversary of the country's top-tier league.

However, Beckham, who recently signed a five-month contract to play for top French club Paris Saint-Germain after his stint with US side Los Angeles Galaxy, is scheduled to play for PSG in the team's second leg of the round of 16 in the Champions League on March 7.

The report said Beckham would at least visit China in May if he had to play in the Champions League.

The IMG official said all reports so far were unconfirmed by the CFA and characterized them as misleading.

Neither the CFA's spokesman, Dong Hua, nor the CSL's PR officer, Liu Zhujia, answered calls from China Daily.

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