A General Administration of Sport of China official denied Thursday to the Global Times that the Chinese Football Association will be made independent from the administration.
The reply came after a report by the Guangzhou-based Soccer News Thursday that both agencies are going to take the big step in order to reform the often-corrupt Chinese football industry.
"I have never heard about such a reform," the administration official said.
"I bet it is a rumor. There have been years where the association has tried to separate from the administration. Never has it succeeded," Ma Dexing, a football journalist at the Titan Weekly, told the Global Times Thursday, adding that Wei Di, former director of the Soccer Administrative Center under the administration, tried to implement the reform, but it ended in failure.
Similar appeals for separation have emerged after many Chinese were outraged by the humiliating 5-1 loss of the national men's football team to Thailand on June 15.
"I don't think there are severe problems in the system. Even though some people who are in charge of the association are so-called laymen, they can still do an excellent job as long as they know how to get the industry on the right track," Ma told the Global Times Thursday.
Wang Dazhao, a sport journalist at the People's Daily, said improving the football training system would be more meaningful and practical.
The State Administration of Taxation also denied Thursday that it had held a meeting with the football association on cutting the tax rates on the industry, following a report by the Soccer News that the tax burden on the football clubs and the industry has been made heavier.