Football

Chinese football legend Sun Wen shares experience on role change – Xinhua

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Xinhua) — In conjunction with Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) Women’s Football Day, which falls on the International Women’s Day, Chinese football legend and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) Vice President Sun Wen shared Tuesday her views on being a football administrator and the latest development of women’s football.

Sun was featured in the latest program of AFC’s “‘It’s My Game’ campaign” on Tuesday, titled “The rising Sun – the inspiring story of China’s legendary footballer.”

Hailing Sun as one of the greatest women footballers in the world, AFC listed Sun’s accomplishment, including winning the FIFA Female Player of the Century, the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999 as well as the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award in the same year.

Sun said her most treasured memories of her career lie beyond those glories.

“I am not obsessed with titles and honors. To me, the valuable memories are the fantastic teamwork, the atmosphere in the stadium and the interactions with fans. My teammates and I still relish these precious memories.”

After hanging up her boots, Sun has experience working in different fields such as journalism, advertising, and education before entering the football administration and was appointed as the women’s leader of the game in the world’s most populous nation.

“The administrative position requires a holistic view, an open mind and close coordination. From the bottom of my heart, I miss those days on the pitch as it was to me, a place of happiness.”

Sun witnessed the leap of women’s football after analyzing all 52 matches as part of the Technical Study Group (TSG) during the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.

“We have seen the rise of European women’s football not only through results but also in tactical performance. Compared to my generation, a significant symbol of women’s football in this era is that there are many brilliant players in every position, meaning Asian teams, including China, will face bigger challenges,” she said.

“Only high-level and high-quality matches can improve players. Organizing competitions, especially a professional league, is the key to boost the game. The FIFA Women’s World Cup in France also showed the innovation of the women’s football landscape. As football administrators in Asia, we need to promote our competitions with innovative ideas,” she added.

Comparing the current women’s football players with those of her generation, Sun said the players nowadays have better environment and facilities but also face the challenge of the time, including how to find themselves in an ever-changing society and to seek self-development.

“There are many challenges for women players, including the various societal perceptions and how to balance family and career at the same time. So, I encourage women players to experience different possibilities. Every step counts. Those invaluable lessons will help you become a greater person to overcome those difficulties one day,” she said. Enditem

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