Soccer

Chinese honour for Beckham

2013-03-04 15:43
David Beckham (AP)

Beijing - Football superstar David Beckham has been named an ambassador for the Chinese Super League, the country's football association said, a move that has been widely anticipated but also criticised.

The former England captain will visit three times during the season from March to November to promote the sport in China and attract the global spotlight, the China Football Association said in a statement.

"Beckham will come to China to promote youth football and serve as ambassador to the Chinese Super League (CSL)," it said, touting the athlete's success in boosting the popularity of the sport worldwide.

"His arrival will bring international attention to Chinese football and at the same time his personal involvement will be a good way to make Chinese football more international."

State media, however, cast doubt on whether Beckham - currently with French club Paris Saint-Germain - could repair the image of a sport scarred by match-fixing and bribery scandals.

A three-year inquiry resulted last month in 33 people receiving lifetime bans and the former club of Didier Drogba, Shanghai Shenhua, being stripped of its 2003 league title.

The arrival last year of the Ivory Coast striker along with Nicolas Anelka, his former team-mate at English Premier League side Chelsea, signalled to some observers that Chinese football had turned a corner.

But both players have since left Shenhua, with Drogba going to Turkish league leaders Galatasaray in disputed circumstances and Anelka signing for Juventus on loan.

When news of Beckham's appointment began to circulate last month, the People's Daily online said the departure of two international stars had already hurt CSL's reputation and "even Beckham would not heal the damage".

"While spending loads of money hiring international stars like Beckham, the CSL should make efforts to improve the quality of its 'products'," it said.

"Without a truly favourable environment and high-calibre professional clubs, more foreign stars are likely to leave like Drogba and Anelka did."

Read more on:    david beckham  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Early return for Rojo

20 minutes ago

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!
 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Where should Rivaldo Coetzee play his soccer next season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.