China's men's Olympic team assisted by Chelsea

China's U-23 footballers are to spend two weeks at English Premier League club Chelsea's training ground in Cobham, England, next month. "China is a key commercial market for us but our policy is to help Chinese football where we can in the process and this was a key element behind our agreement to co-operate with the Chinese Football Association," Chelsea's business affairs director Paul Smith said in a statement. Chinese men’s Olympic football team, Team China, and Chelsea have developed an extensive program which will include fitness and conditioning; medical treatment; match preparation, match strategy and tactics; and scouting and specialist coaching. Team China will also play three matches against London-based teams and work on a number of PR initiatives during the stay.

Infront Sports & Media, which brokered the agreement, is the exclusive marketing partner of China’s national football teams. John Kristick, Infront’s Executive Director Asia, told Asian Football Business Review the parties intend to discuss the feasibility of a wider ranging and longer-term strategic partnership based on the success of the first training camp. “This is an important step for Team China, as it will help to raise the level and intensity of their preparations for the Olympic Games. Chelsea is a global brand and offers Team China excellent facilities and the benefit of a world class coaching team, as well as match experience," he said.

CFA General Secretary Xie Yalong said: “Chinese football is at a young stage compared to world football but we wish to advance as much as possible and this partnership arranged by Infront with Chelsea is an important step. The Olympics in China are providing us with the inspiration to learn from the outside world. Chelsea is a top world club with great resources, skills and experience. We look forward to learning and developing through our contacts together.”

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