China national team boss Vladimir Petrovic wants his players to slim down if they are to squeeze through the Group of Death in the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
At the team's recent training camp in Guangzhou, a physical test showed that nine of the 22 players were carrying too much fat.
"The excessive fat will seriously affect their mobility and speed," Petrovic told China's Titan newspaper.
"I hope they reduce it as quickly as they can," added the Serbian.
Petrovic is leading the team under the supervision of the Olympic coach and compatriot Ratomir Dujkovic who will take the lead after the end of the Beijing 2008 games.
"I have discussed with Dujkovic that we should send our best squad to the World Cup qualifiers...the premise is they must be strong enough," Petrovic said.
"If we get through the 'group of death', I think it will be tears rather than smiles."