China replaces football boss over poor performance

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BEIJING (AP) -- China has replaced its director of football because of the national team's poor performances in his three-year tenure.

State media reported on Thursday that Wei Di is being moved to another department in the sports ministry. His likely replacement was named as Zhang Jian, who heads the ministry's department of policy and rules.

Wei was appointed as part of a crackdown on bribery and match-fixing that netted his predecessor and others. The once-ailing professional league has recovered in recent years, but the national team continues to languish.

Coached by Spaniard Jose Antonio Camacho, China is ranked 86th, just behind South Africa and one above tiny Guatemala.

A lack of youth programs is frequently blamed for the failure to produce a competitive team.