The Chinese revolution keep marching on all over the world. After the huge transfer fees and salaries at the Chinese Super League, the decision makers in Chinese FA needed to have some new ideas for the development of the local football.
Few month ago, they signed a new agreement with the German FA. It brought a different way of partnership between the two nations. China U-20 national team will get a chance to train in Germany for few months, including organizing games against local teams.
The interesting part of this agreement is the way those matches will be organized. The Chinese team will co-operate with the Regionalliga Südwest, the Southwestern group of the German fourth tier. This league contains 19 teams and in every week the team that doesn't paired for a match can play against the guest team from China.
If someone thought that the German clubs would give a warm welcome to the new friends from China, he would be disappointed to find a different situation.
Many people have spoken against this decision. The teams felt that the German FA favors the Chinese instead of them. The local teams must to play against the Chinese team instead of getting short breaks during the season. These games would not counted for promotion or relegation and the Chinese team would not ranked. The clubs were actually forced to play two friendly matches during the regular season.
We must remember that these teams are playing in a lower league, so their budget is limited. Hosting extra games has its own costs and impact. According to the Chinese-German agreement, each team will get 15,000 Euro for organizing these matches. Yet, some clubs in the league will see it as a bribe in order to satisfy the Chinese counterparts.
One of the rising voices against the Chinese team formed in Facebook as satire group named "China U20 Ultras Südwest". Their original intention was to protest against the commercialization of the German football. They even have special products with the slogan "You'll never wok alone" and published posters that use references from old Chinese propaganda posters.
The Chinese team is facing also political problems in Germany. Their first game last weekend was interrupted by fans that waved the flag of Tibet, the disputed region that is currently part from China. Moreover, human rights activists from Germany may use their games in order to make more protests from that kind.
While the German FA vice-president, Ronny Zimmermann, said that he can't ban the protests as there is a right for freedom of expression in Germany, they still seek for a solution that will prevent more incidents that will make the Chinese team feel unwelcomed. At the current situation, the German decision was the cancel the next three Chinese-German matches and a decision about the other games will be made during the winter break.
China already had some projects all over Europe in order to develop their own football, but the German project is seems to be a step that will affect the world. It's more than a question whether Chinese players will be better or not. It's a question of politics, can China use its power and money in order to influence football nations?
Germany is strong enough as a football nation and they can refuse any idea of partnership from China, no matter how much money it will bring to the FA. When international football is becoming more corrupt and money is spreading all over, no one knows whether this partnership would be enough to China in order to get more benefits, like getting votes in possible future World Cup bid.
Time will tell if this agreement will have a vast influence, and if China have really bought themselves a better position in world football.