Thursday, 25 Feb 2016 12:00 | By He Lanying
The Chinese government has relinquished all control over the country’s football association, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday February 24, under a plan to overhaul the sport and boost the performance of its struggling teams.
According to Xinhua, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) is now an independent organization with full power to hire staff, set pay rates, organise foreign tours and select coaches. This follows last week’s winding down of the government-run Chinese Football Administrative Center, which had controlled the game in the country until now.
The changes are part of a reform plan issued by the State Council last March and backed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, a football fan who wants China to host the World Cup finals one day.
The ministry-level General Administration of Sport announced last year it was releasing its grip on the CFA by shuffling government officials out and turning the body into a "fully-fledged" non-governmental organization without state funding.
CFA's goals for 2016 include the building of a much stronger school system in football.
"We will strengthen our co-operation with the Ministry of Education in 2016," said a CFA official on Wednesday, "We intend to support schools in establishing their own student clubs and to set up suitable competition systems for schools."
Proofread by John Devlin.