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the CFA Launches a “Breakthrough Plan” for Its Member Associations and Rolls out a Pilot Reform Program

2018-05-18 23:09     CFA

To implement the Overall Plan for China’s Football Reform and Development and the Chinese Football Association 2020 Action Plan, to promote the Medium and Long-Term Development Plan of Chinese Football (2016-2050) in all fronts, and to build a stronger member association system, the CFA convened a conference at Wuhan on May 18 2018 to implement its “Breakthrough Plan” and pilot reform program and mobilize its member associations. The released “Breakthrough Plan” selected three provinces and three cities, namely, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Sichuan, Wuhan, Chengdu, Dalian, as pilot regions for the comprehensive football reform program. The CFA will strengthen its support to its member associations improving their work, rolling out reforms, and building a strong organization. It will also help its member associations carry out their work, develop their organizations, push forward the football reform.

The conference was attended by CFA Executive Deputy Director and Secretary General Zhang Jian, CFA Executive Committee Member Lin Xiaohua, CFA Executive Committee Member and Wuhan Municipal Bureau of Sports Director Shen Shun, CFA Executive Committee Member and Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Sports Deputy Director Liu Tong, representatives from the Inter-Ministerial Joint Conference Office on Football Reform and Development of the State Council, and around 60 principal leaders from CFA’s 44 member associations. Mr. Stuart, Head of the AFC Member Association Development Department, also attended the meeting at the invitation of the CFA. The conference was chaired by Lin Xiaohua.

Zhang Jian first of all addressed the attendees on behalf of the CFA. He stated that one of the CFA’s priorities is to build stronger football organizations at grassroots level. It is hoped that the released “Breakthrough Plan” and the selected pilot regions can help grassroots football organizations improve their work and unite together in a “big Chinese football family”. Grassroots football organizations is literally the “root” of China’s football and the luxuriant leaves of the tree of football relies on deep roots. The absence of strong grassroots football organizations will only leave the CFA, and China’s football as well, stumbling around in the dark. It is hoped that the member associations, through reforms and experiments, help the CFA seize a breakthrough in pursuing the overall reform and development of China’s football.

Stuart spoke highly of the CFA launching the member association-based breakthrough plan, and elaborated the ways that the AFC support its member associations, delivered by financial assistance, consultancy, technology support and etc. He also stressed that the strategic development plans of member associations should be in line with that of their parent association.

Zhu Heyuan, liaison officer of the Inter-Ministerial Joint Conference Office on Football Reform and Development of the State Council, detailed the implementations of the “Breakthrough Plan”. Starting from 2018, the first period of the “Breakthrough Plan” will end in 2020 as a three-year scheme during which the CFA would give an annual 50 million yuan grant to its 44 member associations for grassroots football organization building, business development and culture program. The grassroots organizations which applying for the funding need to meet certain criteria.

To have a better understanding on the developments of China’s grassroots football associations, the CFA surveyed these organizations with a questionnaire. It released the Census Report on the Developments of China’s Grassroots Football Associations based on this survey. The CFA Member Association Department Director Li Feiyu briefed the report, covering football reform progress, organization restructuring and resources, developments of major business and objectives and principal challenges, which helped the attendees shape a deeper understanding to the developments of grassroots football associations, and provides important indicative reference for future reform and development of grassroots football associations.

Liu Tong and Wang Shenshun, on behalf of Jiangsu and Wuhan Football Association respectively, briefed overarching plans, grassroots development, football pitch building, social football development, youth football development, talent cultivation, league management, and policy implementation of the two grassroots associations.

The attendees had an in-depth exchange of views and provide valued ideas and suggestions to the development of grassroots associations at discussion time of the meeting.

Zhang Jian concluded the conference as it strengthened the idea that the grassroots associations will play a greater role in China’s football community. The adjustment and reform of China’s grassroots associations is a key measure for China’s football management system and operation mechanisms improvement and innovative development of football management model with Chinese characteristics, and a necessary requirement to fully advance China’s football reform and development. Adjustment, reform and strong organization is the guiding principle for the grassroots associations to carry out their work. The Breakthrough Plan provides an effective way for the grassroots associations to grow and provides important measures to meet basic needs, build stronger primary-level organizations and consolidate foundation of football development.

Zhang put forward three requests for the following work of the grassroots associations. First, they should understand and bear in mind their important missions, unite as one, shoulder their responsibilities, improve their organization systems and business development systems, lead the football development in their regions, and promote China’s football reform. Secondly, the role of the CFA, as a service provider, industry standard designer and an actor to pool excellent resources in supporting grassroots football association development is clear. Thirdly, we must unswervingly implement the Overall Plan for China’s Football Reform and Development, and modernize our management system and improve governing capability. While carrying out the Breakthrough Plan and the pilot programs, the grassroots associations need to better understand the policy, actively apply for the fund, brave innovation, build a strong organization, shore up the weak links, and eyes on the future. They need to work hard to build a football ecology where football associations of all levels can share interests, missions and ambitions and form a big Chinese football family. They must shoulder the responsibility of China’s football reform and development and accomplish this mission together, contributing their efforts to China’s football revitalization, realizing the dream of becoming a sports leader and the Chinese dream of rejuvenation.