Chinese Football Association (CFA)

Marcello Lippi says China are not trying to win East Asian Championship against Japan, South Korea and North Korea

Former Italy head coach takes an inexperienced squad to Japan, including six under-22 players

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 December, 2017, 3:10pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 December, 2017, 2:01pm

China national team manager Marcello Lippi said that the aim for his side at the upcoming East Asia Football Championship in Japan is not to win but to experiment.

Lippi has named a young squad for the four-team tournament, which Hong Kong just missed out on qualifying for when they lost to North Korea last month.

North Korea join China, hosts Japan and South Korea for the tournament which begins with South Korea taking on China on Saturday before Japan face North Korea later the same day.

Also in the media conference, Lippi confirmed that Yu Dabao, the former Benfica winger who missed much of the Chinese Super League season through injury, will be China’s captain while in Japan.

At 29 the Beijing Guoan player will be one of the more experienced members of the squad despite his injury-hit season.

Lippi, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, made the headlines last month for revealing that China would bid for the 2030 edition of the World Cup, a move that the Chinese FA were quick to deny.

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He was appointed China head coach in October last year after a successful stint at Guangzhou Evergrande where he won the Chinese Super League three times and the AFC Champions League in 2013.

A China win would see them equal holders South Korea with three tournament titles.