The football loving citizens of the People’s Republic of China are once again going to witness another men’s FIFA World Cup without their national team.
It is also interesting to note that the first time the World Cup came to Asia was the only time they ever qualified for the tournament in its history.
As you prepare to place your bets on the World Cup 2022 best odds, this article will give some insight into the real reason China will not be among those odds.
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China at the FIFA World Cup
China, currently ranked 78th in the FIFA power rankings, first tried out for the World Cup in 1958, 28 years after the first edition was held in Uruguay. They were knocked out of the Asian qualifiers by Indonesia.
Political differences due to a secessionist movement from the region now known as Taiwan (formerly known as Chinese Taipei) led to China leaving FIFA for 21 years. After rejoining FIFA in 1979, they participated in the Asian qualifiers for the 1982 World Cup and got to the intercontinental playoffs stage. They faced New Zealand and lost.
They eventually qualified for the 2002 World Cup under their second ever foreign manager Bora Milutinovic, but were knocked out of the tournament from the group stages. They failed to win a single match or score a goal at the showpiece, which was held in South Korea and Japan.
The 1982 and 2002 World Cup qualifiers remain their best outing in official FIFA events to date.
China’s path to Qatar 2022
Their race for Qatar began when they were drawn alongside Syria, the Philippines, Maldives and Guam for the second round of the AFC FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. They scaled through to the third round as the second placed team in their group with six wins, one draw and one loss.
Their third round opponents were Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, Oman and Vietnam. However, they failed to replicate the form they showed in the second round and lost some matches that were written off on paper as a win for them.
They finished in sixth place with one win, threw draws and six losses from ten games to miss out on yet another World Cup. Their race for Qatar began when they were drawn alongside Syria, the Philippines, Maldives and Guam for the second round of the AFC FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. They scaled through to the third round as the second placed team in their group with six wins, one draw and one loss.
In 2022, some of the most recognizable clubs in Asia are from China. Jiangsu Suning (now dissolved), Dalian Professional FC (formerly Dalian Yifang), Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and a few others are big names in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
With the rise in quality of Asian football driven particularly by the Chinese football leagues, together with the Middle Eastern football leagues, it was expected that China would be included with the World Cup 2022 best odds on various bookmakers’ platforms. However, they have failed yet again to make another World Cup.
The real reason for China’s absence at Qatar 2022
It is baffling that China are missing out on Qatar 2022, but the former skipper of the national team has come out to give the real reason for the team’s absence at the upcoming global showpiece.
Feng Xiaoting, 36, who currently plays with Shanghai Shenhua has been in the China national team since 2004 and was the captain of the China national team between 2013 to 2018. Xiaoting revealed that China’s negligence of youth development in football is why the country has struggled so much to qualify for the World Cup.
He also believes that it will be even harder for China to make future tournaments going forward because the rest of Asia has caught up to them, and are gradually catching up with the rest of the world.
Preparations have begun to revamp Chinese football, however, with their sights set on the 2026 edition, which would also be another ‘first’, as it would be jointly hosted by the trio of United States, Mexico and Canada.