According to China’s top anti-corruption body, Chen Xuyuan, the president of the Chinese Football Association, is being investigated for possible discipline and legal infractions.
A disciplinary inspection and supervision team from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Commission of Supervision of the Communist Party of China is looking into Chen at the General Administration of Sport of China. Additionally participating is the Hubei Provincial Commission of Supervision.
Li Tie, the former head coach of Team China, was the subject of an initial investigation by the national disciplinary inspection team and the Hubei oversight commission in November for alleged major infractions of the law and discipline.
The news of Chen’s probe quickly rose to the top of Chinese social media’s popular topics. More than 2 million people on Weibo viewed the hashtag “CFA president under investigation” in just 30 minutes, with the majority of users lamenting the poor situation of Chinese soccer.
“In less than six months, the former head coach of Team China, the secretary-general of the organisation, and the CFA president will all be under investigation. What really occurred in relation to Chinese soccer? Let’s wait for the response, remarked Han Qiaosheng, a sports analyst, on social media.
2019 saw Chen, who formerly served as Shanghai International Port Group’s president, elected to lead CFA. China’s men’s national soccer team put on a string of underwhelming performances while the 66-year-old served as the organization’s president, and the growth of the country’s soccer leagues has been severely hampered.
Despite the association’s considerable budget for the naturalisation of foreign-born players, the men’s national team did not make it to the World Cup in Qatar last year while Chen was in charge of the organisation and Li was the coach.
On the league side, a number of clubs at all levels, even heavyweights like eight-time Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou FC, are struggling to survive, and the nation’s professional leagues’ overall influence is dwindling.