Beijing, Nov 30(ANI): In spite of conquering every sport played the world over, China's performance in football has been a source of shame for its fans for years, with the national team dangling between Cuba and Albania to be ranked 97th in the world.
According to reports, corruption, match-fixing and illegal betting has poisoned Chinese football and overwhelms the professional league, which is forcing fans and players at every level of the game to abandon it in disgust.
The authorities are also taking a note of the situation of the game in China, and now Chinese President Hu Jintao has also stepped into the fray, allowing Politburo member Liu Yandong to say publicly that China's top leader is very concerned about the state of the game in the country.
Following the response, the police also claimed that they arrested 16 players, coaches, and minor officials accused of match-fixing and betting scams.
However, Xu Guoqing, a sports historian at Hong Kong University, is skeptical about the efforts.
"To solve the soccer problem in China you need the rule of law and an independent judiciary. Chinese leaders seem quite serious about fixing this, but there is no way they can under the present regime," The Christian Science Monitor quoted Guoqing, as saying.
China did not make it to the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa, and they were not one of the top ten teams in Asia. (ANI)