Soccer - Chinese clubs urged to develop youth or lose licenses - report

According to Titan Sports, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) will introduce rules in 2019 that force clubs in the top two tiers of the domestic league to create youth teams ranging from the under-13 bracket up to the under-19 level. The teams would play in competitions organised by the CFA and, claim Titan Sports, a failure to comply would see clubs forfeit their registration to play professionally. The CFA have yet to respond to a Reuters request for a comment on the matter. The move marks the latest CFA directive to enhance the future prospects of the national team, who have struggled to make an international impact in the last decade-and-a-half. Bora Milutinovic led the country to their only World Cup appearance in 2002, before an Arie Haan-coached team reached the final of the Asian Cup on home soil two years later. Since then, China have struggled, with the number of youngsters in the country playing the game diminishing as a number of factors, including match fixing scandals, blighted the sport's progress.