This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
CHINA’S football association pledged today to reshuffle the squad and “deeply reflect” following its loss to Syria in a World Cup qualifier that prompted the resignation of coach Marcello Lippi.
A statement issued by the association described the team’s performance in the 2-1 defeat in Dubai as “just passable” and said Lippi’s resignation had been accepted.
The statement was widely derided online, as the media sought to minimise the degree of failure. China is now five points behind Syria, only half-way through the group stage of Asian qualifying.
The statement posted early today on the association’s official microblog expressed “deep apology.”
“The Chinese Football Association will deeply reflect, reshuffle the men’s squad and fight hard in the upcoming group of 40 competitions,” the statement said.
China’s men have qualified for only one World Cup and are currently ranked No 69 in the world, alongside Canada and Saudi Arabia. In its only World Cup appearance in 2002, China lost all three games and failed to score a goal.
That has made them perennial underperformers compared to the women’s team and the country’s other medal-winning athletes.
President and head of the ruling Communist Party Xi Jinping has made boosting the level of play a national priority and the CFA has sought new strategies, including adding foreign-born, nationalised players to the squad.
In his farewell remarks, Lippi, who guided Italy to the 2006 World Cup title, said he took “full responsibility” for the loss.
“For any team, players should give their all once they are on the pitch and execute what the head coach had planned for,” said Lippi, who returned for a second spell in charge of China in May.
“If they are afraid and lacking motivation, will and courage and failed to execute what we had trained for, I will take responsibility for that as head coach.”
Only the winner of each of the eight groups and the four best second-place teams progress to the next stage of qualification.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.