Figo warns China to focus on grassroots football

Figo warns China to focus on grassroots football


Portugal great Luis Figo has urged Chinese football authorities not to lose sight of grassroots football.

Figo’s comments come amid the huge spending splurge by Chinese clubs, which has seen millions of dollars spent of some of the game’s premier names.

The likes of Oscar, Hulk, Carlos Tevez, Hernanes and Axel Witsel have all made moves to Chinese clubs in the past year. Each player cost their respective clubs lofty transfer fees and will earn in excess of £200,000 per week.

Tevez has become the world’s richest footballer, earning an estimated £600,000 per week.

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Figo, who runs academies in the sprawling Asian metropolis, wants a focus on the grassroots game and youth development to be maintained.

“I think the government is pushing a lot, but in my opinion they’re building the house up to the roof,” Figo said.

“it’s a different culture. I have academies in China and I know well what I am saying, because if you don’t have grassroots, if you don’t have a culture of extra scholar programs, if you don’t have the competitions, it’s difficult to make a strong structure for the teams and the national team.

“I think it’s not enough to spend millions on buying players, just thinking in short periods.

“But it’s not me who has the power to decide, so I will just leave my opinion.”