Ninety minutes from glory: China’s 1982 World Cup qualifying campaign

China entered the qualifying rounds for Spain’82 as something of an unknown quantity having not participated in the competition since 1958. They ended it having fallen just one win short of qualification. After withdrawing from both FIFA and the IOC in the late 1950s over the ‘Taiwan question’, China were deprived of officially sanctioned competitive […]

Urawa – Shenhua alliance shows football has no borders

Japanese club Urawa Reds face Shanghai SIPG today in an Asian Champions League tie that brings together two groups of fans who have a remarkable attitude to Sino-Japanese relations. Hostility and bitterness towards Japan remains common in China many decades after the horrors of Japanese occupation in the second world war, with nationalistic sentiments against […]

CSL Referees need greater protection regardless of their decision-making

It’s not easy being a referee in any league at any level, but in the Chinese Super League (CSL) it appears to be on that fine line between brave and stupid. That’s largely due to the players’ behaviour and lack of support from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). Referees in the CSL are so heavily […]

Comparing the CSL and the Premiership: Could China’s new u23 rule work in England?

Sudden new rules introduced just before the season kicked off now require CSL clubs to have at least one u23 player in the starting 11 and one on the bench. So how did this actually work out on the pitch last weekend, and what might happen if such a rule was applied to the EPL? […]

From the Qing dynasty, to collapsing roofs and the CSL: a history of Guangzhou R&F’s temporary home

Military parade ground, site of the first Provincial Games in China, political rallying point, Japanese military depot, home of the Guangdong-Hong Kong Cup, host of the Women’s World Cup, and finally a CSL venue. The Guangdong Provincial People’s Stadium has certainly witnessed a lot since it hosted the first Provincial Games in the dying days […]