Thursday, November 02, 2006

China's cities use football development opportunity

The Asian Football Confederation's Vision China program was launched two years ago with Qingdao and Wuhan as the two pilot cities. Now Nanjing and Chengdu have been added to the program and the Chinese Football Assocation has come up with its own 10-year development plan. In an interview with the AFCMedia, CFA Vice-Chairman Xue Li said Vision China provided regional participants with the opportunity to "benefit with full-fledged participation". In China, she said, benefit means they can work together closely with the government and get support on financial and policy aspects.

"The support the city FA can get from the government doesn’t mean only on Vision China Project but also other FA football development plans. Opportunity means they have the chance to re-structure the FA’s administration structure, grassroots and youth football, coach education, referees' education, marketing, media, etc."

So far a further 13 cities have been selected to join Vision China. "I believe the right way to develop city football in China lies within the Vision China Project as we do not have any relevant experience or knowledge to implement such a massive plan," she explained. "We have to steadily lay a solid foundation for Vision China as any impractical measures could jeopardise the whole project. We all can see, that for the cities of Qingdao , Wuhan , Chengdu and Nanjing , the football development strategy is different and even the methodology of implementation is very different."

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