China Football Association officials announced yesterday they had finally secured a sponsor for the troubled Super League, just a day before the third season kicks off. Iphox, a British-registered internet telephony company, has signed up to support the corruption plagued league, CFA officials said at a signing ceremony in Beijing. Nan Yong, vice-president of the CFA, said that despite the league's scandal-ridden past, the sponsorship provided Iphox with an excellent marketing opportunity. 'They know that Chinese football has had a lot of problems and needs support,' he said. 'They also know that China has a huge population and presents a great business opportunity.' Iphox chairman Johan Schotte said his internet company was officially launched yesterday to coincide with the league sponsorship deal. 'We are interested in the huge potential of the China market and we respect the Chinese nation. Football being the most popular sport in the world, and China being the most populous country in the world, it offers Iphox a great marketing opportunity,' he said. When asked why his company chose to support a league that is more famous for match-fixing and corruption than its football talents, Schotte said: 'You are referring to the past and we are here for the future. The ups and downs of the league are part of history.' He did, however, confirm his company had insisted on an opt-out clause to legally permit them to withdraw support if the corruption and bad publicity continued. 'But we do not expect the corruption to continue,' he said. The head of the CFA, Xie Yalong, was also confident the match-fixing could be stamped out and he said fans would be more inclined to return to the stadiums this season as promotion and relegation had been reintroduced now the top-flight had grown to 15 clubs. 'It will be a lot more exciting this year. Up and up is the direction of the Super League,' he said. Nan Yong said the deal could only be announced at the last minute as negotiations only began in February after the CFA was forced to tour Europe in the hunt for a sponsor. 'There was a negotiating process. We had to solve a lot of problems between us,' he said. The CFA and Iphox officials would not disclose the value of the sponsorship deal or say how many seasons the initial contract covered. In its bid, paper the CFA asked for Euro8 million ($74 million) for a title sponsor. Unconfirmed reports in the Chinese media, citing unnamed CFA officials, said Iphox had committed to a Euro6 million deal for the first season.