Chinese men's soccer team head coach Juan Antonio Camacho will focus on shaping a team with its own style and training Chinese coaches in the next two years, after the national team's failure in World Cup qualifiers, Guangzhou-based Information Times reported Thursday.
China was eliminated in the first group stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifications after the group's Iraq beat Jordan 3-1 in an away game Tuesday, making China's 4-0 win against Singapore count for nothing.
Although there are no major tournaments for Camacho's team before 2014, the Spaniard, whose contract with China goes through December 2014, will not be dismissed after the team's poor performances in the qualifier.
"The national team is not all of Chinese football. We will set up a mechanism in which Camacho trains club coaches of our soccer league regularly," said Yu Hongchen, deputy chief of the Chinese Football Association (CFA).
Yu said Camacho has two years to develop his men into a team with a distinctive style and spend more time on selecting young players, helping them improve their skills, according to the report.
When asked to comment on the criticism over the coach, Yu defended Camacho and emphasized that the Spaniard had too little time to get to know his team.
"Any coach, no matter how excellent he is, will need at least two years to shape his team and let the players fully understand his soccer strategies and tactics," he said.
In an online survey by portal website sina.com, 43.3% of the 17,089 people polled said Camacho needs more time to adapt to the soccer environment in Asia, while 26.9% were unsatisfied with his performance, saying Camacho, with an annual salary of 2.8 million euros, failed to live up to his abilities as a famous coach.
China has failed to advance through even the preliminary World Cup qualification stage three times since 2004. Almost all coaches, Chinese or foreign, were sacked at once after the national team was eliminated in the World Cup qualifications since 1982.
The dwindling pool of young players is believed to be the biggest problem behind the huge slump in Chinese football in the past decade. China has approximately 6,000 registered young soccer players. The number in Japan is about 600,000.