- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014

BEIJING (AP) - China’s former table tennis coach has been named head of the national football association in the latest bid to revive the country’s dismal performance in the sport.

China has only qualified for one World Cup and its poor football results contrast starkly with the country’s stellar performance in other sports.

China dominates world table tennis and Cai’s appointment on Tuesday speaks to the nation’s hopes that some of those winning ways will rub off on its football. China currently stands at 92 in FIFA’s world rankings.

Local analysts say China’s problems are deep seated, with not enough young people enrolled in football academies and a weak domestic league.


Cai was a world champion as a table tennis player and was head coach of the men’s team from 1991 to 2004.