Wei Di, the General Secretary of the China FA visited the Home of FIFA today to sign an agreement with FIFA to help improve the standard of football in the world’s most populous nation. FIFA have pledged technical, managerial and organisational support to the CFA as it seeks to optimise its professional competitions.
FIFA.com: What will this agreement bring to Chinese football?
Wei Di: Football in China needs help at the moment. FIFA paid two visits to China in November and February when a very detailed inspection of the current situation of Chinese football was carried out. Then FIFA made some proposals. Those proposals and needs were put together into this agreement. It mainly concerns training courses in different areas and for different groups in China.
Since your participation in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan and your second place finish in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup, your national team hasn’t had great results. What needs to be improved?
We didn’t work hard enough to develop football in the country. We encountered some issues but now the government has pledged its full support, so we’re now looking to rebuild the whole structure with the aim of having a good platform for youngsters to nurture their skills in China.
Is women’s football still popular in China?
Yes. The national team isn’t doing so well, due to the reasons I mentioned earlier and they failed to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011. But with the backing of the government and FIFA’s plan, I’m sure things will change. We’re all looking forward to seeing their performance in the forthcoming Algarve Cup in Portugal (2-9 March).
What are the next objectives for Chinese football?
First of all we will focus on the youth programme. Then we’re eager to improve the results of our respective national teams. If their results are good, then that will obviously increase young people’s interest in football. We will also try our best to host some international events. I’m sure all this will help to raise the level of football in our country.