Football in China
||This article possibly contains original research. (November 2009)|
Football in China consists of Association football (Chinese: 足球; pinyin: zúqiú) as well as the China national football team. Football has been one of the most well supported sports in China, since it was introduced in the early 1900s. The national governing body is the Chinese Football Association (CFA). Hong Kong and Macau have separate leagues.
The Chinese Football Association Super League (中国足球协会超级联赛), commonly known as Chinese Super League (中超联赛, CSL), currently known as the Wanda Plaza Chinese Super League, is the highest tier of professional association football in China, operating under the auspices of the Chinese Football Association (CFA).
The Super League was created by the re-branding of the former top division, Chinese Football Association Jia-A League, in 2004. While the league originally consisted of 12 teams, now 16 teams compete in it. The title has been won by seven teams:Shanghai Shenhua, Shenzhen Jianlibao, Dalian Shide, Shandong Luneng, Changchun Yatai and Beijing Guoan. The current Super League champion is Guangzhou Evergrande.
The China PR national football team is governed by the Chinese Football Association (CFA). The team was founded in 1924 in the Republic of China under the auspices of the China Football Association and joined FIFA in 1931. Following the Chinese Civil War, the CFA was formed in the newly founded People's Republic of China. They remained affiliated with FIFA until 1958, when they withdrew, but they rejoined in 1979.
Football initiatives have been developed, including Vision China - a part FIFA Vision Asia - which has reached the highest standard in Asia and the quarter final of the men's competition in the 2008 Olympics. The programme covers marketing, development, footballer training, coach and referee training, sports medicine, competitions, media, and fans. It also includes assessments on Chinese football, planning matches and monitoring them. Goal Project for China, part of FIFA Goal Project invested in China to help build the new headquarters of the CFA.
Media coverage of football in China
Football is covered by the Chinese media. National competitions are generally televised on CCTV-5 and CCTV-5+. Guangdong Television reserves rights, however, for the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Since 1996, CCTV-5 has weekly programmes televising live games in the Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga to Football Night (足球之夜). Shanghai's Dongfang Sports channel also has regular football coverage.
Chinese football fans often associate themselves most with teams in the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A and the German Bundesliga. Chinese players going to play in European leagues attracts massive media attention. Prominent examples include Sun Jihai, formerly of Manchester City; Zheng Zhi, who played for Celtic; Shao Jiayi, formerly of 1860 Munich, now of MSV Duisburg; and Yang Chen, formerly of Eintracht Frankfurt. 
Corruption in Chinese football
The professional league is marred by match-fixing, illegal betting, and violence on and off the pitch, which the Chinese government has promised to fix. Two former top executives of the Football Association of China were arrested and prosecuted for taking bribes 
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