A year after the Beijing Olympics, China aims to use the experience of the successful Games to build lucrative market-based professional sports leagues, a top official said.
China’s beleaguered soccer association has yet to turn a profit despite 15 years of existence, while the basketball league that produced center Yao Ming has not done much better financially.
“The development of professional sports is a new kind of endeavor for China,” Cui Dalin, vice minister of the General Administration of Sports, told reporters in an interview on the first anniversary of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “We have no experience in being successful, and no trial events that we can learn from, so we have encountered all kinds of problems.”
Cui was largely referring to the scandal-plagued professional soccer league that has been wracked by allegations of corruption — from organized gambling to crooked referees and rowdy fighting among players.
Meanwhile the 18 clubs in the popular basketball league reportedly lost 115 million yuan (US$16.9 million) last year, despite increasing the number of matches and allowing more foreign players to play.
“Why do we have these problems?” Cui asked. “This is a problem of China’s national character ... our level is too low.”
“The question for us is how can we go along the road towards professional sports that conforms with China’s national character,” he said. “This is something that we are still exploring and researching.”
“We have learned a lot from the Beijing Olympics,” Cui said.” We must actively push forward this and we must now find the kinds of sports that the people want to see and find a direction for professional sports within the market economy.”
But he warned that Western powers such as the NBA and other sports management companies would not be allowed to operate leagues in China, but could only serve as “cooperative partners.”
“The organization of every domestic sport league is done by each of China’s sporting associations, who will organize the events and the games,” Cui said when asked about the NBA’s hopes for China. “We will look for cooperative partners, like some globally known branded tournaments and corporations, but the management and organisation of the sports will be done by our associations.”
Whatever role world sports marketers hope to play in China, Cui further said the government-run sporting bodies should have a leading role, echoing what global businesses have known here for decades.
“Another part of China’s national character is that the government always plays and important role,” Cui said. “If you have the support of the government, you can probably do well and succeed.”
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being