Asian Football Confederation (AFC) General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John praised China’s football boom as benchmark for the continent, saying that it’s a positive image for Asia football.
“China’s football boom is good news for the AFC… because it is a very important partner for us,” Windsor John said in comments published by Xinhua.
However, the Secretary urged China do more to nurture talent for the struggling national team, and warned that the lack of balance between foreign players and domestic players might hurt Chinese Super League.
“On one hand, we need to improve the performance of the national team, so you need more homegrown players, more Chinese players who play in top clubs regularly and they can be prepared for the national team,” John stated.
“On the other hand, the clubs want to do well in the league and become the champion, not only domestically but also the champion in Asia. So it’s a difficult situation.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping has promoted an ambitious plan to improve domestic football and aim the national football team to qualify for another World Cup, host the tournament and eventually win it.
Despite Chinese Super League clubs have spent big money budget on high-profile international players and coaches in recent years, the national team have yet gained any significant benchmark.
They are currently sitting at world’s number 77 and almost miss a chance to reach next year’s World Cup finals due to disappointing performance in qualifiers.