David Beckham dodges China corruption questions
Friday 22 March 2013
David Beckham continued his tour of China in his role of “global ambassador” for the country’s youth football and Super League in Qingdao insisting he was not there to help clean up the sport in the country.
After arriving flanked by suited officials, the former England captain signed autographs and had a brief kickabout – still wearing his shirt, tie and shiny formal shoes – with students at Qingdao Jonoon football club in a brief appearance attended by a large crowd of fans.
Beckham’s appointment to raise the profile of the game in the world’s most populous country has been met with scepticism as Chinese football is wracked with inept bureaucracy and corruption. Last month 12 clubs and 58 players, officials and referees were punished by the China Football Association for match-fixing and bribery involving incidents stretching back a decade.
But the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder sidestepped any political footballs, instead preferring to concentrate on the actual spherical object. “I’m not a politician, and I’m not involved in any scandals and corruption that’s gone on in the past,” he said. “I’m here for the future.
“I am helping in the education for young kids and young aspiring footballers. It’s as simple as that. I am not here to clear up anything. I am here to educate the children and give them a chance of becoming professional footballers.”
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Latest in Sport
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage