China Hopes David Beckham Can 'Revive Game's Image' As Football Ambassador
China has named former England captain David Beckham as its first global football ambassador to "revive the game's image which has been hit by a match-fixing scandal and an exodus of international stalwarts from the country's premier league," according to Sudipto Ganguly of REUTERS. In his new role, Beckham is "expected to help" bring Chinese Super League to the world stage and promote the game in China. Beckham said, "I am honored to have been asked to play such an important role at this special time in Chinese football history. I'm excited by the prospect of promoting the world's greatest game to Chinese sports fans as I've seen firsthand the growing interest in football there (REUTERS, 3/4). This is the first ever honor of its kind bestowed on an int'l sportsman in the country. With the rapid growth of the Chinese Super League, the country's Championship league in the past two years, it is believed that Beckham's China tour will further popularize the game in the country as well as bringing Chinese football and the CSL to the world stage (IMG).