[QODLink]
Football

Beckham touches down in China

Following rumours linking David Beckham to China, the PSG player arrives to promote youth football.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2013 14:28
Style it like Beckham: Suited English star plays with Chinese children at Beijing's No. 2 High School [AP]

David Beckham arrived in China on Tuesday as an ambassador to help develop young players as the country tries to clean up its football image after a spate of corruption scandals.

The former England captain said he isn't concerned about the match-fixing scandals in China, with several players and officials sentenced to prison.

"I'm not here to clean up anything. I'm here to educate the children and give them a chance to become professional footballers,'' Beckham, dressed in a smart grey suit and tie, said during his first appearance as ambassador at a Beijing primary school.

Beckham, who was linked with a move to play in the Chinese Super League after leaving the Los Angeles Galaxy in December, also said he hasn't ruled out playing professionally in China someday.

"I'm not here to clean up anything. I'm here to educate the children and give them a chance to become professional footballers"

David Beckham

"Who knows? People keep saying that it will be my last club, it will be my last season," said the 37-year-old midfielder, now with Paris Saint-Germain.

"I continue to play and I love playing, so we'll see."

Beckham is due to play an exhibition game in China in November, five months after his contract with PSG expires. If he opts to retire by then, the match could mark the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star's swansong before he switches focus to his career off the field.

Developing a youth program is considered a priority for the CSL, with a mere 8,000 players of all ages registered at local associations in a football-mad nation of 1.3 billion people.

Beckham indicated he would take a strong interest in inspiring and training talented young players who might one day represent their nation internationally.

"I think it's important that we get a process in hand," he said.

A weak youth system, along with rampant corruption, has been blamed in part for the Chinese national team's poor international results. The country has only played once at the World Cup, in 2002.

347

Source:
AP
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.