A Game of Two Halves

Whether you’re a football fan or not, it’s difficult not to have noticed the fact that the Chinese Super League (CSL,中超联赛) isn’t so super. China’s national team ranks 96 out of a possible 207 according to the FIFA world ranking table, just scraping into the top 50 percent. On the other hand, China’s national basketball team is ranked a very respectable 11th.

This could be because there are far more basketball fans and aspiring basketball players in China; this generally means more money, more training and therefore a higher level of game play.

Many times when I speak to Chinese friends or colleagues about football, we always talk about the English, Spanish, or Italian leagues. However, if I ask about the CSL they roll their eyes and ask if I have watched any games. When I say I have seen a few matches, they look surprised and always ask, “Was it bad?” I think this question sums up the general opinion about the domestic game.

The big question is, “How can people’s opinions be changed?”

Over the last few years a lot of money has been pumped into the CSL with hopes of creating a larger fan base. Big names such as Didier Drogba (德罗巴) and Nicolas Anelka (阿内尔卡) were recruited in the hope that they would bring in new fans. Maybe that money would be better spent training young talent so that the CSL has a bright future where home-grown players shine.

Recently, the CSL has named David Beckham its ambassador in the hope that his high profile will help to pull in the supporters and maybe revive people’s faith in what has undoubtedly become a taintedgame. Last year alone, 58 officials were banned from the game for match-fixing (打假球) and bribery. The hope is that if people see a face they can trust they will be more likely to give a second chance to the CSL. An honest, hard-played game of football is a thing of beauty; let’s hope Becks can encourage more people into the stadiums.


which is NOT the move that CSL does aiming at changing people‘s idea?
A name Beckham as its ambassador
B pay more money to train more talent player
C recruit big names






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