Wuhan crowned CFA Super Cup champions as new season kicks off
Published: Apr 08, 2023 10:17 PM
Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Chinese Super League (CSL) winners Wuhan Three Towns continued their accumulation of Chinese soccer silverware being crowned the Chinese Football Association (CFA) Super Cup champions after defeating Shandong Taishan 2-0.

The Wuhan team rose to fame for winning the leagues from the professional bottom tier to top tier in consecutive seasons, while Shandong, who had claimed the CSL title four times, were last season's CFA Cup winners.

Played at a neutral venue in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, the game attracted a crowd of 26,998 people at the 52,000-seat stadium, according to figures released by the CFA.

The CFA Super Cup, a competition between the CSL winners and CFA Cup winners, has been canceled for three consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last Super Cup was held in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province in 2019, where Shanghai Port defeated Beijing Guoan 2-0.

The event's return also marks the kickoff of the 2023 soccer season coinciding with an anti-graft campaign which has swept Chinese soccer, with seven senior officials from the sport's governing body subject to a disciplinary probe.

League matches will return next week as the CFA unveiled the domestic fixture list on Friday, with the top-tier CSL league running from April 15 to November 4.

Huanglong Stadium, formerly the home stadium of CSL club Zhejiang, has been closed for upgrades since 2019 in preparation for the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.

The Super Cup match at the now refurbished venue served as a test event for the Asian Games, as the venue will host the men's soccer final at the pandemic-delayed Asian Games later this year.

The venue will also host athletics events for the Asian Para Games. The turf and running track have been upgraded to a world-leading level, according to Zhou Meng, the official responsible for overseeing the stadium upgrade.