Published : 2021-03-31

Cross-cultural factors, knowledge transfer and football development in China: Insights from a mixed methods approach

Section: Articles


China has launched a long-term plan for football (soccer) development. One of its strategic initiatives consists of recruiting foreign coaches to obtain advanced skills and knowledge. The aim of this article is to analyse the reasons why the competitiveness of Chinese football has not yet reached the level of other countries, as well as to investigate the role played by the knowledge transferred by coaches from a leading football country such as Spain. Based on a mixed methods research design, the results suggest three reasons for the lower level of development of football in China: the prioritisation of academic success by young Chinese football players, traditional learning via repetition and automatisms, and the lack of success of China’s national football team. The study contributes to the literature on the influence of cultural factors on national athletic success. Moreover, it offers practical implications for improving China’s national strategy for football development.


China ; football (soccer) ; knowledge transfer ; national competitiveness ; cultural factors

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