Chelsea FC an official London ambassador to China

English Premier League champion club Chelsea Football Club has been named as an 'official ambassador' of the United Kingdom's capital city by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. The honour came as it was announced that Chelsea FC chief executive Peter Kenyon will be part of a high level Mayoral delegation to China next week.

Lifelong Chelsea fan Lord Sebastian Coe, who led the capital’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics, is also one of the ambassadors on the trip.

"It is a great honour for the club to represent London in this way. Chelsea's roots and heritage are set in our location in the capital, and if this can assist in promoting London in China then we are delighted to do that. We are also excited by the opportunity to help promote Chinese football and the English Premier League on this visit," Kenyon told the club's website.

The delegation’s trip is designed to promote co-operation between London and China, in particular the cities of Beijing, which will host the 2008 Olympics, and Shanghai.

The Mayors of London, Beijing and Shanghai will sign agreements to that effect while London will open offices in the two Chinese cities to promote the capital as a destination for Chinese business people, tourists and students.

Chelsea are building substantial football relationships in Asia. Kenyon recently held talks with the Asian Football Confederation, the first time a major European club had been in direct dialogue with the AFC. Those talks focussed around the AFC’s grass roots development program, Vision Asia, with a specific interest in Vision China and how Chelsea could help these programs.

Chelsea FC is sponsored by South Korean consumer electronics company Samsung.

See also: Chelsea to China and USA to become 'World No 1' (30 Mar) and Chelsea for partnering not exploiting Asian football (2 Mar).