Chinese Football Association

Chinese Football Association
Founded 1924 (1924)
FIFA affiliation 1931
AFC affiliation 1974
EAFF affiliation 2002
President Cai Zhenhua
Zhang Jian (First vice president[1])
Website 中国足球协会官方网站
(Official website of China Football Association)
Chinese Football Association
Simplified Chinese 中国足球协会
Traditional Chinese 中國足球協會

The Football Association of the People's Republic of China (Simplified Chinese: 中国足球协会; Traditional Chinese: 中國足球協會; pinyin: Zhōngguó Zúqiú Xiéhuì), or commonly known as the Chinese Football Association (CFA), is the governing body of football in the People's Republic of China.[2][3] 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,[4] 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.[5]


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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] On October 21, 2009 The Chinese President at the time Hu Jintao publicly expressed concern for the development of Chinese football.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] This was eventually followed with the arrest of former Vice chairman Xie Yalong on October 6, 2010 for the same crimes.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

Member associations

As of 2015, there are total 44 member associations directly affiliated to the CFA.[16] The members are:

  • Anhui Football Association (Anhui)
  • Beijing Football Association (Beijing)
  • Changchun Football Association (Changchun)
  • Chengdu Football Association (Chengdu)
  • Chongqing Football Association (Chongqing)
  • Dalian Football Association (Dalian)
  • Fujian Football Association (Fujian)
  • Gansu Football Association (Gansu)
  • Guangdong Football Association (Guangdong)
  • Guangxi Football Association (Guangxi)
  • Guangzhou Football Association (Guangzhou)
  • Guizhou Football Association (Guizhou)
  • Hainan Football Association (Hainan)
  • Hebei Football Association (Hebei)
  • Heilongjiang Football Association (Heilongjiang)
  • Henan Football Association (Henan)
  • Hubei Football Association (Hubei)
  • Hunan Football Association (Hunan)
  • Inner Mongolia Football Association (Inner Mongolia)
  • Jiangsu Football Association (Jiangsu)
  • Jiangxi Football Association (Jiangxi)
  • Jilin Football Association (Jilin)

  • Kunming Football Association (Kunming)
  • Liaoning Football Association (Liaoning)
  • Nanjing Football Association (Nanjing)
  • Ningxia Football Association (Ningxia)
  • Qingdao Football Association (Qingdao)
  • Qinghai Football Association (Qinghai)
  • Shaanxi Football Association (Shaanxi)
  • Shandong Football Association (Shandong)
  • Shanghai Football Association (Shanghai)
  • Shanxi Football Association (Shanxi)
  • Shenyang Football Association (Shenyang)
  • Shenzhen Football Association (Shenzhen)
  • Sichuan Football Association (Sichuan)
  • Tianjin Football Association (Tianjin)
  • Tibet Football Association (Tibet)
  • Wuhan Football Association (Wuhan)
  • Xiamen Football Association (Xiamen)
  • Xi'an Football Association (Xi'an)
  • Xinjiang Football Association (Xinjiang)
  • Yanbian Football Association (Yanbian)
  • Yunnan Football Association (Yunnan)
  • Zhejiang Football Association (Zhejiang)

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,[17] 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.


First vice president

  • Sun Baorong (孙宝荣) (1989–1992)
  • Wang Junsheng (王俊生) (1992–2000)
  • Yan Shiduo (阎世铎) (2000–2004)
  • Xie Yalong (谢亚龙) (2005–2008)
  • Nan Yong (南勇) (2009)
  • Wei Di (韦迪) (2010–2013)
  • Zhang Jian (张剑) (2013–present)

Football competitions



  • Reserve League
  • University League
  • U-19 league
  • U-17 league
  • U-15 league



  • Futsal League
  • FA Futsal Cup

Beach football


  1. For China, this is the position which manage the football association actually now, and is usually held by the head of Management Center of Football, which is a department of Chinese State General Administration of Sports. Management Center of Football is in fact the same bureau with CFA.
  2. "Chinese officials want clue to Japan's soccer success|China". 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2013-11-17.
  3. Joshua Frank, Los Angeles Times (June 19, 2010). "Missing from the World Cup? China - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  4. "AFC BARS ISRAEL FROM ALL ITS COMPETITIONS". Reuters. The Straits Times. 16 September 1974.
  5. 1 2 "Chinese Football Association". 1955-01-03. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  7. "The final count: China's gold rush". August 24, 2008. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  8. "新华社:胡锦涛指引中国足球方向 改革乃势在必行". 2009-10-21. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  9. "反赌获数百人黑名单 酝酿十年国家领导人关注". 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  10. "China football ex-chiefs Nan Yong and Xie Yalong jailed". 13 June 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  11. "Former soccer officials arrested for bribery". 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
  12. "Chengdu Blades demoted". 23 February 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  13. "China Strips Shenhua of 2003 League Title, Bans 33 People for Life". 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  14. "Brazil vs China Report". September 11, 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  15. "Wei Di steps down as soccer chief: report". January 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  16. "2015中国足球协会业余联赛大区赛分区情况". Chinese Football Association. April 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  17. Management Center of Football is in fact the same bureau with CFA.

External links

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