The Straits Times
Published on Feb 22, 2013

Football: Beckham to promote Chinese football in bid to rebuild sport's image


BEIJING (AFP) - Former England captain David Beckham is being lined up to promote Chinese football, state media said on Friday, but fans say rebuilding the sport's shattered image may be too big a challenge even for him.

Officials have confirmed the superstar will make a highly anticipated tour of China "in which he will be appointed the CSL's (Chinese Super League's) ambassador", the state-run China Daily said.

The Chinese Football Association is not expected to confirm the trip until next week, but sports fans took to Internet message boards in droves to criticise the decision.

Many said installing Beckham - currently with French club Paris Saint-Germain - as an "international ambassador" will do little to address the core problems of the competition, which is battling to overcome match-fixing and bribery scandals.