China replaces football boss over poor performance

China has replaced its director of football because of the

national team’s poor performances in his three-year tenure.

State media reported on Thursday that Wei Di is being moved to

another department in the sports ministry. His likely replacement

was named as Zhang Jian, who heads the ministry’s department of

policy and rules.

Wei was appointed as part of a crackdown on bribery and

match-fixing that netted his predecessor and others. The

once-ailing professional league has recovered in recent years, but

the national team continues to languish.

Coached by Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, China is ranked 86th,

just behind South Africa and one above tiny Guatemala.

A lack of youth programs is frequently blamed for the failure to

produce a competitive team.