Wednesday, July 4, 2012

We have been impressed.

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 17:47
smt china close 3x2
AFC Club and Futsal Director Stuart Ramalingam congratulated Chinese Football Association (CFA) and China Super League (CSL) for the improvement in the clubs not only in the local game but also at the continental level.

Speaking at the end of a Special Mission Team’s inspection visit to China on Sunday, Ramalingam highlighted the progress which had gone beyond the clubs in China.

“We have been impressed by the direction of the CFA and CSL to guide club competitions in China.

“The re-assessment of the Chinese clubs has assured us on the positive growth in the different areas relating to the AFC Champions League criteria.”

The SMT’s work in China concluded with a meeting with the CFA and CSL delegations in CFA’s headquarters in Beijing Sunday morning after travelling to Dalian, Qindao and Shanghai for the inspections.
CFA Vice President and CSL Chairman Yu Hongchen, CFA General Secretary Wei Di and CFA Deputy General Secretary Liu Dianqiu were present during the meeting.

Liu Dianqiu said: “The AFC team showed their support during the inspection. They demonstrated that they did not come here to disqualify but to assist our clubs to meet the criteria.”
During the closing press conference, Ramalingam, Head of the SMT, informed the media of the purpose of the inspection and the process of making decisions afterwards.

“We noticed positive growth,” he said. “Obviously, the CFA has put lots of efforts to attend to their previously weak areas and shown tremendous progress to achieve higher valuation in the ACL slot allocations.”

In 2012, Beijing Guoan, Tianjin Teda and Guangzhou Evergrande were the Chinese representatives in the group stage in the continent's premier club championship with Guangzhou Evergrande advancing to the two-legged quarterfinal matches against Al Itthihad of Saudi Arabia which will start on September 19, the first Chinese club to reach the quarterfinal since 2006.

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