Chinese Football Association

Chinese Super League loses sponsor

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 February, 2007, 12:00am

The troubled Chinese Super League was likely to once again be without a major backer for the new season which kicks off on Saturday, a top Chinese Football Association (CFA) official said.

Nan Yong, deputy chairman of the CFA, yesterday confirmed the withdrawal of Iphox, a British internet phone service provider, which bought the naming rights to the league only 12 months ago.

The company apparently called it quits because of its inability to do business in China. Foreign firms are banned from providing internet phone services in the domestic market. No financial details of the Iphox deal have ever been made public, though it was widely reported to be worth Euro40 million (HK$411 million) over six years.

'We are looking forward to an 11th-hour deal [with a new sponsor] at best,' said Nan.