Chinese Football in the Era of Xi Jinping: What do Supporters Think?

Ilker Gündogan, Albrecht Sonntag


Football has become a field of high priority for development by the central government of the People’s Republic of China. After Xi Jinping took office as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, a football development strategy was launched, including four “comprehensive” reforms. The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of these reforms by Chinese football supporters – a fundamental stakeholder group – through an online survey. Particular emphasis was laid on how nationalistic attitudes underpin supporters’ expectations, especially with regard to the concept of the “Chinese Dream.” In addition, issues of football governance were also addressed.

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