Chinese Football Association U23 policy to continue into 2018

Guest post by Wang Hailong

Wang Hailong is a football blogger from Beijing, China. He found out about the book Football English through the media coverage it received when Chelsea’s Antonio Conte was pictured reading it on the beach.

Click here for his football for English blog for Mandarin speakers.

In this Guest post, Hailong gives us news from China’s top divisions.

In December 2018, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) stipulated that it would continue to carry out its current U23 policy in 2018, which it launched in 2017. In addition in 2018, the number of domestic U23 players (born after 1 January 1995) per match should be not less than the number of foreign players, encouraging more domestic young players to be given playing time.

For every Chinese Super League side, the number of foreign players who are actually used in play on the pitch should be three at most. And that number drops to two for every China League One side in 2018.

The CFA rolled out its U23 policy in January 2017, stating that there must be at least one domestic U23 player (born after 1 January 1994) in the starting XI for every Chinese Super League side, and every China League One side.

In June 2017, the CFA stipulated that the fee for a foreign import should not exceed RMB 45 million (GBP 5.12 million) and for domestic players RMB 20 million (GBP 2.28 million). If a club does exceed this amount, and for example, it pays  GBP 6 million for a Brazilian player, then the club has to pay an equivalent  GBP 6 million to the CFA. This money will be used for football development and education across China. The CFA confirmed that this stipulation would continue to apply in 2018.

There are three professional leagues in China. The top league is the Chinese Super League, followed by China League One, and then China League Two.

Unlike the Premier League season, which lasts from August to May, the Chinese Super League season starts in March and finishes in November.

China League One is from March to October. China League Two runs from April to November.

Interview with author of the book Football English on TalkSPORT radio

On 4 September 2017 pictures of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte reading the book Football English appeared in British newspapers.

The radio station TalkSPORT spoke to the author Tom Challenger about his book.

Listen to the interview here:

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte uses the book Football English to help him improve his English

Antonio Conte took the opportunity to have a short beach holiday while the English Premier League broke for a weekend of international matches at the beginning of the 2017/18 season.

On 3 September 2017 he was photographed reading Football English by Tom Challenger on the beach in Italy.

The photos featured in this article in The Sun newspaper on 4 September.

Football English is for learners of English who want to learn vocabulary and phrases that will help them to talk about and read about football (soccer).

to cope with pressure

to cope with pressure : to deal successfully with the negative feeling you get in a difficult situation.

The Liverpool manager thinks his team have the mental strength to win the Premier Leauge:

Brendan Rodgers: Liverpool boss tips his side to cope with pressure.

Other words that often combine with ‘pressure’ in a football context

To feel the pressure: to show signs that pressure is affecting you

To handle pressure: synonym for ‘to cope with pressure’

To come under pressure: to experience pressure (= to be under pressure)

A high pressure situation


Brought to you by Football English, the vocabulary workbook for soccer.

to strengthen a squad

to strengthen a squad : to get new players, so the group of players at a club is better.

The new Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants to do this in the summer transfer window:

“Everton must strengthen their squad this summer to build on the club’s recent success.”

The adjective ‘strong’ is also often used before ‘squad’: a strong squad

Brought to you by Football English, the vocabulary workbook for soccer.

to shake hands

to shake hands: to greet somebody by holding their hand and moving it up and down.

Rafael Benitez and Alex Ferguson’s difficult relationship was on show at Old Trafford again yesterday:

“…Rafael Benitez and Alex Ferguson again failed to shake hands at the final whistle on Sunday after Chelsea staged a stirring comeback from 2-0 down…”

verb: to shake hands with someone
noun: a handshake

Brought to you by Football English, the vocabulary workbook for soccer.

a rumour

A rumour: a situation/information which is being discussed, but which could be false because it is not official…

There’s lots of talk about Wayne Rooney today because Alex Ferguson decided not to play him against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday:

“…the latest on the rumours about Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United future…”

Brought to you by Football English, the vocabulary workbook for soccer.

man marking

Man marking: minimising the effect of an opponent by following him for the whole match:

“Ferguson told Phil Jones to man-mark Fellaini and follow him everywhere”

Phil Jones successfully man marked Marouane Fellaini in Sunday’s match between Manchester United and Everton.

Read about this tactic here:

Brought to you by Football English, the vocabulary workbook for soccer.