China's sports market is still in its preliminary stage, says Granada CF president

Key Points
  • Jiang Lizhang, president of Spanish soccer club Granada CF told CNBC on Wednesday that China's sports market is huge and there are many opportunities still untapped.
  • "The (sports) market is huge but we are still at a preliminary field. That is why we hope one day we can track more overseas investments into the Chinese sports," said Jiang.
  • The businessman said that he believes FIFA wishes China to host the 2030 World Cup.
Jiang Lizhang, president of Granada CF speaks with Evelyn Cheng, Beijing Correspondent of CNBC in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.
Zhong Zhi | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Jiang Lizhang, president of Spanish soccer club Granada CF told CNBC on Wednesday that China's sports market is huge and that many opportunities are still untapped.

At CNBC's East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China, Jiang said "I believe that in China we have a big market for the Chinese soccer league because there is a lot of momentum to further our consumption power," he said in Mandarin.

"The (sports) market is huge but we are still in its preliminary stage. That is why we hope one day we can attract more overseas investment into the Chinese sports market, so they can share with us their experience and knowledge in managing sports teams professionally," he said according to CNBC's translation.

According to Statista's analysis, China's sports industry market size could grow from $56 billion in 2013 to a $470 billion in 2025.

In October, Reuters reported that China will host the first edition of the 24-team Club World Cup in 2021. FIFA's president also announced that the hosts for the 2030 World Cup would be chosen in 2024, but Reuters said the organization has not yet announced the bidders.

Parma Calcio players celebrate their president Jiang Lizhang president at Stadio Ennio Tardini on May 27, 2018 in Parma, Italy.
Alessandro Sabattini | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

Jiang founded Hope Group, which is affiliated with professional soccer teams including those in Chongqing, China; Parma, Italy; Granada, Spain and Tondela, Portugal.

The businessman said "Hope Group has a 2030 plan. We believe FIFA also wants China to host the World Cup in 2030."

When asked about China's hopes in hosting a World Cup, Jiang said that "We have about 10 years time to improve ourselves. It is very likely for us to host FIFA 2030. I believe that is the case and that will be the direction," said Jiang.

"China will take up a lion's share in sports businesses and revenue around the world," he said.

He added that China currently does not have professional soccer fields but many local governments in China have expressed their desire to build such facilities. The question now, he said, is not money, rather the professionalism required to maintain them.

— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.