Be healthy and know how to speak Mandarin: China posts online ad in search of new national football coach

China's Yu Dabao (in white) in action during the World Cup qualifying match against Hong Kong on Nov 17, 2015.
China's Yu Dabao (in white) in action during the World Cup qualifying match against Hong Kong on Nov 17, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Fancy taking charge of China's football team? You will need to be healthy, know how to speak Mandarin and possess a sound knowledge of the sport in Asia.

These are three of the five key requirements needed to become the next national coach, according to an online advertisement on the Chinese Football Association's website.

The unorthodox approach of seeking the ideal candidate via an ad comes in the wake of the sacking of previous coach Alain Perrin on Friday (Jan 8), after a disappointing sequence of results.

Frenchman Perrin, who took charge of the team in February 2014, presided over two 0-0 draws against Hong Kong - the most recent in November last year - during an uninspired World Cup 2018 qualifying campaign.

China are currently third in their group, behind Qatar and Hong Kong, and only have a slim chance of making into the next round of qualifying.

Also a must for the job: the requisite qualifications and extensive experience as a football coach.

Applicants are also required to fill in an application form, as well as provide a detailed resume and their coaching qualifications, by the Jan 29 deadline.

 

The chosen candidate will be expected to lead China to the 2019 Asian Cup and 2022 World Cup, said the ad.

Football in the world's most populous country has long suffered from corruption, although the authorities have sought to clean up the game in recent years.

President Xi Jinping, an avowed fan, had previously called on the nation to up its game by eventually hosting and winning the quadrennial tournament.

China, currently 82nd in Fifa's world rankings, has made only a single appearance at the World Cup so far - in 2002.