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SBD Global/December 23, 2013/International Football

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke: Football Should Be China's Top Priority

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said that "football should be China's priority in sports now," according to XINHUA. Valcke said, "You had best basketball players in NBA. You can have good team sports, then football should be your first target now." Despite a debacle in the semifinals to Bayern Munich "which cast a little shadow on Guangzhou Evergrande's African journey, the debut of a Chinese club at the world stage ignited the passion of millions of football fans." Valcke said that "with the improvement of the professional club, it is the right time and right mood for Chinese football to come back to the world's stage." Valcke: "If you think about the quality and value of Chinese national team, it's a long time that they haven't played at the highest level. China should come back into football." Though Marcello Lippi's side was defeated 3-0 by the reigning European champions, Valcke disagreed with the critics' "poor-performance" comment on Guangzhou and believed the Chinese club proved that it deserved to be there. Valcke: "They are the champions of Asia, which is not a continent of ten countries. There are a number of teams playing in Asian champions league. It's not a poor performance. But you were playing against one of the best teams in the world. It maybe look like a training game for Bayern, but it's not such an easy game" (XINHUA, 12/21).
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