Oct 14, 2016

    China fans blast officials for passing the buck


    FANS slammed the national football team after China's dream of reaching the Fifa World Cup finals was crushed on Tuesday.

    After they lost 0-2 to Uzbekistan in their fourth game of the final qualifying round for the 2018

    World Cup, and coach

    Gao Hongbo announced

    his resignation at the post-match news conference, fans took to social media to defend him.

    They urged the Chinese Football Association to take more responsibility for

    what they called poor

    youth development rather than replacing coaches

    one after another.

    "Whenever the national team loses, they just want to switch coaches and lure a foreign coach with a lucrative contract. It's just a case of passing the buck,"

    a user named Yanyanlong said on Sina Weibo, China's major micro blog platform.

    After the loss in Tashkent, China have just one point.

    Their chances of finishing in the top two remain a mere theoretical possibility, despite six group matches still to be played through September next year.

    Gao said his decision

    to step down was made together with CFA

    officials before the game.

    In February, he took over from Frenchman

    Alain Perrin - who was fired after the team's lacklustre performance in the early qualifying stage - and helped the squad bounce back to progress to the final round.

    Despite China's strong showing at the Olympics and standing as the world's second-largest economy,

    they remains a minnow

    on the global football stage.

    The country have qualified only once for the World Cup, in 2002,

    and currently rank

    78th in the world.