China is trying to become really good at soccer/football for some reason

“The government aims to have more than 70,000 soccer pitches by 2020 and is hiring coaches from abroad to help teach the game.”

“The goal is to train 30 million kids in the next four years and build a national team by 2050 that can beat the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Germany.”

I guess this is the communist approach to winning at sports.

Given the size of their population, makes sense that they ought to have at least a competitive program.

Similarly, they hired Greg Norman (Australian) several years back to coach potential Olympic golfers. But they also fired him, tons of dysfunction according to him.

Population sometimes has little to do with success of the sport, look at India, almost as many people as China but can’t win anything in the olympics.

Part of the issue is it’s not just population, it’s relatively wealthy population. Someone working 16 hour days to feed themselves probably isn’t going to devote a lot of time to badminton and youth leagues are unlikely to be well organized.

spot on and there is the whole infrastructure thing. China has just recently entered the sporting arena, India is not quite there yet plus every talented Indian kid goes to play cricket because there is money there like every Canadian goes to play hockey and sucks at everything else. It will take time to build a holistic system where there is equal opportunity in across sports assuming they even want to do that.

Anyway, apparently there is a Chinese blueprint in place to host and win a world cup by 2050. Crazy that the sport is so massive and the two largest nations are just signing up. I got to go get me some MUN.

The problem with Chinese sport system is corruption, just like anything else in China. There’s plenty of talent, the current system simply does not discover and foster the best talent. It’s probably the same thing with a country like India in addition to a lack of cultural interest in those sports.

And I don’t really buy the relative wealth argument, I remember China lost to Iraq or Afghanistan in soccer at some point and you can’t tell me Brazil’s relative population wealth is any better than China’s. It’s partly the system, partly the cultural emphasis in each country.

There’s a social stigma against soccer in China. Parent’s don’t want their kids to play as it is not congruent to upward social mobility, has ties to betting/underworld, and generally has no financial payoff.

Since the government wants China to become a world soccer powerhouse, I assume the people will learn to abandon that stigma.

I was actually writing a long post but that was pretty concise. ‘cultural emphasis’ is a correlated to social mobility. In India or China social mobility can be achieved by Cricket or Table Tennis? Football is entering that territory now.

For Brazil it’s been soccer, volleyball etc and since Cricket, Kabaddi or Kung-Fu are not Olympic sports Brazil has fared better till China made a massive recent push.

Anyway, FIFA must be tripping, more corrupt money for those wankers.

they’ve actually managed to coax some big players that are still kind of in their prime over there. Not like the US where players only ever go once they’re well past it.

Big big salaries though, even in comparison to other mercenary destinations for footballers.

Mark my words. China wins a WC in the next 300 years.

Talk about going out on a limb…

This is so true. Players in China get 300k pounds per week compared to the EPL at 100k. Of course not all players move. Just those who are chasing the money for 2-3 years.