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Liu Yandong: China-Germany Football Cooperation Enjoys Broad Prospects

2016/11/26

On November 26, 2016 local time, Vice Premier Liu Yandong attended the China-Germany Football Development Symposium at FC Cologne Club in Germany.

At the symposium, President of German Football League (DFL) Reinhard Rauball, DFL CEO Christian Seifert, General Secretary of German Football Association Friedrich Curtius and principals from FC Cologne, FC Bayern Munich, FC Schalke 04 and other clubs delivered speeches respectively, introducing the training system for teenagers in German professional football leagues and the youth training pattern in their clubs. They expressed their expectation and confidence in strengthening Germany-China football cooperation as well as their willingness to strengthen cooperation partnership, exchanges and mutual learning with China to promote and revitalize the football cause on the basis of relevant documents signed between Germany and China. Representatives from FC Shandong Luneng Taishan and FC Liaoning Hongyun also introduced their experience in working together with the German football circle.

Liu Yandong said that the wonderful speeches let her learn more about Germany's experience in football development and look forward to China-Germany football cooperation. During his visit to Germany in March, 2014, President Xi Jinping made a special visit to junior Chinese football players trained in Germany, encouraging more teenagers to devote themselves to football. Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany expressed the willingness of reinforcing bilateral football cooperation during her recent two visits to China. One of the important missions for my visit to Germany is to implement the important consensus of both leaders and promote China-Germany football cooperation. Yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and I held a friendly meeting on boosting China-Germany relations, including football cooperation. Both sides signed cooperation documents at three levels including government, football association and campus football, marking a new step in the strategic cooperation in football between China and Germany.

Liu Yandong said that Germany enjoys a long-standing football culture with a sophisticated youth training system and advanced experience. China boasts a long history of football as the birthplace of ancient football "Cuju"; however, its modern football started relatively late and needs constant efforts to catch up. The revitalization of football in China is highly expected by hundreds of millions of Chinese football fans. Chinese leaders attach great importance to sports and have explicitly urged the revitalization of football in China. We have taken a substantial step in the structural reform of China's football. China is now vigorously developing campus football. By 2020, China will have more than 70 thousand football fields, 50 thousand trained football teachers in campus and 20 thousand football-specialized middle and primary schools. We encourage the participation of social sectors in football development and beef up the development of the football industry to drive the development of all kinds of sport industries. It is hoped that through a period of efforts, China's football will achieve the "football dream" in the hearts of football fans and the general public. I hope that China and Germany will build a stable and sustained strategic cooperation partnership in football, advance exchanges between both national teams and professional football clubs, jointly make a bigger cake of mutual benefit and win-win results in the football industry, and further improve the exchange and cooperation mechanism of youth football. It is believed that with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Germany football cooperation will yield fruitful results, which will not only benefit the two peoples but also make contributions to the development of world football cause.

After the symposium, Liu Yandong watched the training match of the junior team of FC Cologne and communicated with the players in a friendly manner.

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