BEIJING, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Football Association (CFA) could soon welcome its first president from the business world, with Shanghai SIPG chairman Chen Xuyuan preparing to run for election.
The CFA on Friday named Chen as head of the preparation team for a CFA election which will likely take place late this year.
Chen, who turns 63 in July, is president of Shanghai International Port Group, a state-owned enterprise that owns Shanghai SIPG football club.
"Chen Wuyuan is familiar with the sport's development and is well-known in Chinese football. He is also a capable manager with experience of running a large-scale state-owned enterprise," said a CFA spokesperson.
"Chen also has a strong desire to devote himself to Chinese football," the spokesperson added.
If elected, Chen would become the first CFA president from business circles to assume the position, with previous incumbents having largely had sporting backgrounds.
Current CFA president and former table tennis player Cai Zhenhua stepped down as vice director of China's State General Administration of Sport last September, before being appointed vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.
Shanghai SIPG currently sit second in the Chinese Super League after 10 rounds of matches.