(Yicai Global) Aug. 22 -- Chen Xuyuan has replaced the previous head of the Chinese Football Association as the first chief who has no prior experience in a national sports agency. He will face a mission of fostering a successful Chinese team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Chen, the former chairman of the Shanghai International Port Group, has been elected as the chairman of CFA, the main Chinese governing body of soccer told Yicai Global. The state-owned port firm owns the Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.
Three experienced football professionals, Du Zhaocai, Gao Hongbo and Sun Wen, were voted as vice presidents, and a group of people from property developers to media firms were appointed as members of the management team to bring more business skills to the table.
Chen will have a lot to do as China plans to cultivate one of the world's strongest soccer teams by 2050. Before that, the nation will host the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, as well as prepare for the qualifiers of the 2022 FIFA, wishing for better luck than during its first World Cup in 2002 when the national team was eliminated in the group stage.
Chinese soccer is currently in the best development period as authorities have attached great importance to the sport and the soccer industry's commercial value is increasing, said Yi Rentao, chairman of media firm Ddmc Culture, as well as a member of the new management team.
Editor: Dou Shicong, Emmi Laine