Tue, 27 Oct 2020

JINAN, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Former head coach of the Chinese women's soccer team Hao Wei was named the head coach of the Chinese Super League (CSL) side Shandong Luneng, replacing Li Xiaopeng, the club said in a statement here on Monday.

"Li Xiaopeng will take up the posts of vice manager and technical director of Luneng instead of head coach due to health reasons," said the club.

Hao, former assistant coach and technical director of Luneng, will be the club's new head coach.

Hao joined Guangzhou Evergrande for study under world-class coach Marcello Lippi after managing the Chinese women's national team from 2012 to 2015. He was appointed the executive coach of the Chinese Olympic men's team, but his side failed in pursuit of a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.

"We will always pay attention to the development of brilliant Chinese coaches, club management and youth talents, in order to contribute more for the long-term development of Chinese football," the club said.

The 45-year-old Li, who spent his entire playing career with Luneng, was one of the key members in China's only World Cup experience in 2002. As a player, Li helped Luneng win one Chinese top-flight title, three CFA Cup titles and one CSL Cup title.

Luneng has been coached by Li since December 2017. He started working in Luneng's coaching team in December 2015 after he served as the head coach of the women's national team, coach of Qingdao Jonoon, and general manager of Shijiazhuang Ever Bright.

Luneng ranks third in the Dalian division with seven wins, three draws and four losses in the first phase of the 2020 campaign. According to the schedule, Luneng will compete in the Suzhou division with seven other clubs for the CSL championship. Its first opponent is Beijing Guoan, and the two sides will start their first fight on October 17.

Both Li and Hao once played for Luneng, and worked for the club in the coaching team. Their replacement was viewed as a good sign for a smooth transition ahead of the rest of the CSL season.

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