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 […]

Drop in quality but a lot to discuss: How did the CSL cope with the CFA’s new rules?

The CSL kicked off this weekend and, as well as dealing with the weight of expectation, every club had to cope with the controversial new rules introduced by the CFA in January. The number of foreign players allowed to be involved in each game was reduced from four+substitute to three, and each side had to […]

Atkins: Evergrande-Guoan remains the CSL’s prize attraction

As a neutral supporter of the Chinese Super League, it is always the first game I scan the fixture list for—Guangzhou Evergrande against Beijing Guoan. Whatever the season in recent years, it is this game which has continually stood out. On this very website, clashes between the pair were named “match of the year” on […]

Chinese football’s tinted transfer window: We can see out but you can’t see in

The original meaning of the word window describes something which allows light to shine onto poorly illuminated areas, but in China the transfer window strangely works in the opposite manner, almost like a pane of two-way glass. There lies within this huge and mysterious land an amazing footballing world as diverse and reflective of its host […]

Eastern fans’ bizarre absence from Guangzhou threatens Asian Champions League integrity

Eastern’s Asian Champions League debut against Guangzhou Evergrande was memorable for many reasons, but the most important one is in danger of being forgotten – the lack of any visiting supporters. It’s an issue which may not look significant to some, but in actual fact it has potentially serious repercussions for Asian football. The stage […]