CHINA – Super league back on track

China will start over its Super League this year, according to the news Agency Xinhua, after a failing attemps 7 years ago. The news was given by Liu Fengyan, director […]

China will start over its Super League this year, according to the news Agency Xinhua, after a failing attemps 7 years ago.

The news was given by Liu Fengyan, director of Table Tennis and Badminton Administration Center under China’s State General Administration of Sport,during the 50th anniversary meeting of the Chinese Badminton Association on Tuesday. The relaunch, after a 7 years stop, should be later in 2009.

The Super league should have 6 to 8 clubs with maybe as much as 10 shuttlers.

We don’t expect too many clubs involved in the league as in the inauguration year we want to see how it works, and leave as less impact as possible on the national team,” he told Xinhua. The funding – known to be about 20 million Yuan (about 2.3 million euros ) for the league, according to local sources, would have been already secured.

The reason behind this relaunch is mainly to bank on the recent success of the Olympics and the local fame of players like Lin Dan, Zhang Ning and others to make it marketable – it hadn’t worked in 1999. But also, to keep shuttlers on home ground and avoid top shuttlers leaving the country, as Zhou Mi recently – the latter is jeopardizing China’s Hegemony in the ladie’ single event.

Top players will stay home

Once they find there is a top league at home, they are willing to stay to make a living,” he said. “And this will also make more and more Chinese parents let their children play badminton since they can see the hope through the league.” Liu Yang told Xinhua.

Behind this league, also lies the fact that top Chinese shuttlers might see a conflcit of interest between their own club matchs and International competition.”You can not burn the candle at both ends,” said Li Yongbo, head of Chinese Badminton Team. “We must give up some international tournaments. But we will find the balance point.”

This might lead to some disappointement for international tournament organizers who bank on China to come to their event to make it a top event, but will also make the joy of shuttlers from other nations who have no chance to compete or qualify when the Chinese armada joins a tournament.

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.