Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Chinese Football Association

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FIFA affiliation  1931
EAFF affiliation  2002
AFC affiliation  1974
Chinese Football Association
Founded  1924; 93 years ago (1924)
President  Cai Zhenhua Zhang Jian (First vice president)
Website  中国足球协会官方网站 (Official website of China Football Association)

The Football Association of the People's Republic of China, or commonly known as the Chinese Football Association (CFA), is the governing body of football in the People's Republic of China. Original formed in Beijing during 1924, the association would affiliate itself with FIFA in 1931 before relocating to Taiwan following the end of Chinese Civil War (see Chinese Taipei Football Association). During 1955 in Beijing, the CFA refused to affiliate itself with any other major association until it joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1974, followed up with FIFA once more in 1979. Since rejoining FIFA, the CFA claims to be a non-governmental and a nonprofit organization, but in fact the CFA is the same bureau with Management Center of Football, which is a department of the Chinese State General Administration of Sports.



The original China Football Association was founded in 1924. In 1931, it affiliated itself with FIFA, but was relocated to Taiwan following the end of Chinese Civil War, which later became the Chinese Taipei football organization. The current Chinese Football Association was founded in China after 1949. In 1994, the CFA formed a professional league consisting of the Chinese Jia-A League and the Chinese Jia-B League, each having twelve clubs with two clubs being promoted and relegated from their respective leagues every year. Beginning with the 2004 season, the former Chinese Jia-A League was replaced by the Chinese Super League, with the Chinese Jia-B League renamed as the new China League One.

China also has national football teams for both men and women. Historically, the women have been more competitive internationally than the men, losing in a penalty shootout to the United States in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup final, and also finishing fourth in the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup.

In 2008 China topped the 2008 Summer Olympics medal table for the first time in their history, however despite football being the most predominant team sport played within the country the men's U-23 team underperformed within the competition. On October 21, 2009 The Chinese President at the time Hu Jintao publicly expressed concern for the development of Chinese football. On November 18, 2009 a Task force was set up, and they quickly concluded that match-fixing and illegal gambling syndicates had infiltrated every aspect of the Chinese game and were the biggest concern for the development of Chinese football. On January 21, 2010 the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China would confirm the arrests of Vice chairman Nan Yong and former Head of refereeing and the current women's football chief Zhang Jianqiang for accepting bribes as well as their knowledge match-fixing during their tenures. This was eventually followed with the arrest of former Vice chairman Xie Yalong on October 6, 2010 for the same crimes.

Wei Di, who had previously worked for the State General Administration of Sports, was immediately brought in as the next Vice chairman and intended to kick corruption out of the Chinese game. One of his first assignments was to demote top tier clubs Chengdu Blades, Guangzhou F.C. and permanently ban Qingdao Hailifeng F.C. for their involvements in match-fixing. He would go on to permanently ban over 33 Officials, Referees, Players and Coaches as well as voiding the 2003 league title during his tenure. While he may have achieved his goal of kicking corruption out of the Chinese game Wei Di was criticized for his lack of football knowledge and bowing down to sponsorship pressure when he hired José Antonio Camacho to coach the men's national team who failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as succumbing to their worst ever defeat of 8-0 to Brazil and subsequently guiding China to their worst ever FIFA World Rankings of 109. These underwhelming results as well as the political change of Xi Jinping as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 2012, saw Wei Di replaced by Zhang Jian.

Member associations

As of 2015, there are total 44 member associations directly affiliated to the CFA. The members are:

Chinese Football Association officials

When the Chinese Football Association re-established themselves in 1955, they would be a subordinate of the General Administration of Sport and would hire a president who had served with the Chinese national football team as either a manager or player during their career. This would change in 1989 when the association demanded more professionalism and started to separate itself as a non-governmental and a nonprofit organization and hired a first vice president, which is usually held by the head of the governmental agency—Management Center of Football, to oversee the development of football in China. Dealing with the administration of disciplinary matters, the league and general organization of the national team, including the hiring and dismissing of national team managers, has made this role become the most prominent position within the whole of the CFA, while the role of the president has become purely ceremonial. The headquarters are located in Beijing. The current president is Cai Zhenhua, and the first vice president as well as the general secretary is Zhang Jian, who is the person in charge actually.

Beach football

  • Beach Football Championship
  • References

    Chinese Football Association Wikipedia