31 May 2010

China looks at kung fu to revive football hopes

3:10 pm on 31 May 2010

China has once again failed to qualify for the World Cup, but businessman Kong Debao thinks he has a way to revitalise the "beautiful game": he's created kung fu football.

Kong says the standard of football in China is really low and by infusing the sport with graceful martial arts moves, he believes he can help the national team improve its speed and agility.

Chinese football is mired in a massive corruption scandal that's seen the former association chief and his deputy charged with bribe-taking and match-fixing, and scores of officials questioned by police.

Two top Chinese clubs have been fined and relegated for paying bribes, while a second-tier club has been stripped of its right to field a team.

China made their only appearance in the World Cup finals in 2002, when the tournament was co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.