CFA appoints 41 social soccer supervisors for healthy development
Published: Jul 03, 2024 10:14 PM
File photo: The Chinese Football Association

File photo: The Chinese Football Association

To strengthen the supervision and management of soccer activities, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) has appointed 41 individuals as social soccer supervisors, an initiative that aims to enhance transparency and promote healthy development of the soccer industry.

The first batch of supervisors consist of 21 social representatives, 10 fan representatives, and 10 media representatives, who are drawn from national media, fan organizations and representatives from disciplinary inspection and supervision departments.

Wang Dazhao, a soccer commentator from Beijing, told Global Times that while the intention behind establishing supervisors is good, its effectiveness remains uncertain. He said that the development of Chinese soccer largely depends on high-level directives and instructions, which are not easily influenced by social supervision.

The primary duties of these supervisors include attending briefings by the CFA on key soccer tasks, providing feedback and suggestions, and participating in the supervision of professional leagues, youth matches and referee assignments.

Their supervision work focuses on ensuring that soccer industry professionals abide by the law, maintain integrity and fulfill their responsibilities. Social supervisors are expected to report their findings to the CFA, highlight issues and suggest improvements.

Many fans have expressed a positive attitude toward the establishment of supervisors, seeing it as a crucial step toward the healthy development of Chinese soccer.

"As ordinary fans who love soccer, we are well aware of the problems and shortcomings in the current domestic soccer industry. Having more channels for supervision and feedback through the supervisor system to make the industry more transparent and fairer is a good thing," Zhao Yuting, a soccer fan, told Global Times.

During the selection process, media personnel had to obtain the approval from their organizations, while fan representatives were chosen from officially registered fan organizations approved by local soccer associations and sports administrative departments.

Despite the relatively cumbersome selection process, Wang said it is unlikely to reverse the decline in Chinese soccer. 

"In recent years, the overall level of Chinese soccer has declined, including the quality and behavior of fans. It will likely require additional measures to improve the situation," Wang said.

"Drafting standards and regulations is relatively easy; the challenge lies in whether the implementation mechanisms are strict, reasonable, effective and fair," Wang said.  

"In the CFA's appointment of supervisors and the handling of 'fake gambling and match-fixing' issues, while the regulations are detailed and clear, the key is practical implementation." 

Soccer commentator Fu Yayu also posted on social media that the role of social supervisors is more symbolic than practical, as it lacks effective mechanisms and channels. 

Despite many questioning voices, many fans like Zhao still choose to support this measure.

"For a long time, we have witnessed some opaque and unfair practices in the soccer industry, which have affected the enjoyment and credibility of the games. I hope supervisors can play a role in advocating for civilized behavior, creating a healthy and positive soccer culture," Zhao said.

"Good supervisors will help build a positive soccer culture. When that culture is in place, the level of Chinese soccer will naturally improve," Zhao added.