In May 1978 West Bromwich Albion made history by becoming the first English professional football team to tour China, playing in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as the then British colony of Hong Kong. WEF looks back at this little known tour that was significant on both sporting and political levels.
I genuinely hate to appear to stand on the side of the European football establishment (I’ll explain that one further down, there’s a twist!), but a World Cup expanded to 48 teams is overkill and risks devaluing the tournament, making it less desirable to qualify for in the first place.
Is Xi Jinping really a football fan?
Pele’s farewell tour with the New York Cosmos in 1977 was the first time that a professional Western club had visited China. The Brazilian legend, alongside fellow World Cup winners Carlos Alberto and Franz Beckenbauer, were part of the Cosmos side that played friendlies against the Chinese national side in Beijing and Shanghai. WEF looks back at what happened on this ground breaking tour.
STOP PRESS: Shortly after this interview was completed, Gary White’s contract with Shanghai Shenxin was not renewed, despite an impressive record at the second tier club. What follows is the interview as conducted just before the Chinese football management merry-go-round spun once more. —- Gary White took over a free-falling Shanghai Shenxin back in May […]