China should amend its nationality law to allow foreigners to be selected for the national soccer team, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference has proposed.
Wan Anopei, head of Ping An Bank's branch in Wuhan, Hubei province said using naturalized players is common practice in countries all over the world, the Beijing News reported on Thursday.
He cited Japan, saying the rise of the country's national team began with its import of naturalized players.
Wan said using naturalized players could draw more people's attention to the game and improve standards in the short term. This would attract more social investment and lead to better development of soccer in schools.
He suggested China change its nationality law to allow dual citizenship.
The top central body for reform, chaired by President Xi Jinping, passed a guideline last week calling for soccer to be promoted in schools and market reform of the professional league.
Xi has openly expressed his interest in soccer, as well as his desire to see a stronger national team, several times in recent years. The national team's world ranking, according to FIFA, has slumped from around 50th in the 1990s to about 100th now.