It is not a game: soccer and China¿s search for world hegemony
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Recent signings of well-recognized soccer players and the acquisition of clubs in Europe from Chinese business tycoons have captured the attention¿ of soccer fans, worldwide. This paper looks beyond the widely published details of those transactions trying to unveil the fundamental reasons for the government`s support of its local league. This article proposes that the Chinese government intends to reach a soccer superpower status, as part of a broader plan for securing global hegemony. The research draws upon the theoretical assumptions of neo-Gramscian interpretation, with hegemony seen as an expression of consent from a broader base. The hegemon state does not need to use military or economic force, as power itself comes from the recognition of its superiority. The paper also describes the challenges for the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the process of consolidation as a soccer superpower, as well as the long journey lying ahead before achieving success in major competitions.