China PR Soccer Betting Odds
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Nicknames: "The Great Wall"
Head coach: José Camacho
Most caps: Li Weifeng (106)
Top scorer: Hao Haidong (37)[2
The fact that China qualified for the final competition of a FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2002 is testimony to the progress that Chinese football has made in recent years. They have an organised professional league that arouses keen interest among top foreign players and coaches too. Football has long been the most popular sport throughout the country. China has been a powerhouse of women's football for many years. Their biggest triumphs so far have been silver medals at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Atlanta 96 and at the FIFA Women's World Cup 1999 in the USA. In 1991, Sun Qingmei was voted the best player in the Women's World Cup and Sun Wen the female player of the century in the year 2000. After Korea/Japan 2002, many of their players left successfully for foreign shores.
Given the often poor weather conditions in the region where the national football training centre is located, the Chinese Football Association decided to add a retractable roof to the centre's football pitch. This second project means that the pitch is now usable all year round in all conditions, thus eliminating the need for players to travel elsewhere due to bad weather.
AFC World Cup Qualifiers
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, transcontinental nations such as Turkey and Russia are instead in the UEFA, whereas countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Israel are entirely in Asia (Central or Western Asia) and still members of the UEFA. On the other hand, Australia, formerly in the OFC, has been in the AFC since 2006, in the same way as the Oceanian nations of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, which are also members of AFC.