On March 29, the Chinese Football Association announced the “Interim Provisions on the Management of Naturalized Players.” The provisions clarified the regulations covering the transfer, registration, participation in games, follow-up services, and management of the naturalized foreign players. The regulations require that naturalized players should accept, “traditional culture education,” understand Chinese history and national conditions, learn Chinese, recognize the national flag and the national emblem, and sing the national anthem. The party organization of the club must also conduct party history and basic education for the players. The club shall appoint a person to be responsible to monitor the players on their opinions, life, training, and playing condition, and submit a written report to the Chinese Football Association every month.
Many Chinese fans have reacted strongly to these regulations. Some have lodged the criticism that the purpose is not to find a player with good technique, but to find player who is obedient. There are also fans who sarcastically said that in order to play football, they must first learn to be a patriotic person who loves the party and they must study politics before they can be naturalized. Some people said that imposing the party organization’s education is indeed a bit overdone.
Source: Voice of America, March 30, 2019