David Beckham played down expectations he can improve the battered image of the mainland game as officials yesterday unveiled him as the sport's ambassador in the country.
The former England international's new role has been widely seen as an ambitious attempt by the Chinese Super League to recover from years of match-fixing and corruption involving players, referees and officials.
A three-year inquiry culminated last month in 33 people being banned for life and several clubs fined and docked points.
But Beckham, 37, who is on a five-day visit to China while his club Paris Saint-Germain are on a break for international fixtures, said his focus was on developing the sport at grass-roots level.
"What has gone on in the past? I am not a politician so I have nothing to do with it," he said in Beijing.
"I am helping in the education for young kids and young aspiring footballers. It's as simple as that. I am not here to clear up anything. I am here to educate the children and give them a chance of becoming professional footballers."
Beckham said he was not being paid.
Mainland media have quoted Chinese Super League officials as saying he would receive a salary of €2 million (HK$20 million) from a major sport sports agency.
But he said: "There are no figures attached. I am here as an ambassador, simple as that."