Football superstar David Beckham has been named an ambassador for the Chinese Super League, the country’s football association said, a move that has been widely anticipated but also criticized.
The former England captain will visit three times during the season from March to November to promote the sport in China and attract the global spotlight, the China Football Association said in a statement.David Beckham has become a all-around agent for Chinese football to advice the angel of the country’s game.The Chinese Super League has afresh been hit by the avenue of ex-Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, while aswell adversity from a match-fixing scandal.Beckham, 37, will amalgamate the role with arena for Paris St-Germain.
State media, however, cast doubt on whether Beckham, currently with French club Paris Saint-Germain, could repair the image of a sport scarred by match-fixing and bribery scandals.
A three-year inquiry resulted last month in 33 people receiving lifetime bans and the former club of Didier Drogba, Shanghai Shenhua, being stripped of its 2003 league title.
The arrival last year of the Ivory Coast striker along with Nicolas Anelka, his former team-mate at English Premier League side Chelsea, signalled to some observers that Chinese football had turned a corner.
But both players have since left Shenhua, with Drogba going to Turkish league leaders Galatasaray in disputed circumstances and Anelka signing for Juventus on loan.
When news of Beckham’s appointment began to circulate last month, the People’s Daily online said the departure of two international stars had already hurt CSL’s reputation and “even Beckham would not heal the damage”.
His role will absorb accessory alliance matches in China and visiting clubs to advice advance the bold to children.
“I’m aflame by the anticipation of announcement the world’s greatest bold to Chinese sports admirers as I’ve apparent aboriginal duke the growing absorption in football there,” added Beckham.
“This is a admirable action that inspires humans beyond the apple and brings families together, so I’m acceptable the befalling of introducing added admirers to the game.”
Drogba, 34, abutting Chinese ancillary Shanghai Shenhua in June 2012 on a two-and-half-year accord afterwards allowance Chelsea to win endure season’s Champions League.
But the Ivory Coast all-embracing larboard the Chinese club in January 2013 for Turkish ancillary Galatasaray, in a arguable accommodation move.