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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AffiliationUniversity of Alicante, Spain Spain
Bio Statement (e.g., department and rank)
Diego Quer, PhD, is an associate professor at the Department of Management, University of Alicante, Spain. His research interests include several topics pertaining to international management, such as entry modes and emerging-market multinationals, with a special focus on the Chinese context. He has published work in journals such as the Asia Pacific Journal of Management, International Business Review, Family Business Review, Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, the European Journal of International Management, the International Journal of Hospitality Management, and Current Issues in Tourism.
AffiliationUniversity of Alicante, Spain Spain
Bio Statement (e.g., department and rank)
Jennifer Pedro is a PhD candidate at the University of Alicante, Spain, within the Doctorate Programme in Business, Economy, and Society. Her main line of research focuses on the competitiveness of football in China. She has extensive experience in the field of sport as she has been an elite futsal player. Currently, she is developing her professional activity in the Sports Service of he University of Alicante, managing the Competition Area.