China U20 footballers to play in German fourth tier

Updated 2017-08-17 10:31:14 Xinhua

The China Under-20 Selection Team will play in the German regional southwest league next season to enhance their football skills and knowledge, according to a cooperation project signed by the two countries.

Friedrich Curtius, the general secretary of the German Football Association (DFB), said 16 of of the total 19 teams in the fourth tier of the German league, have agreed to play with the Chinese youths on voluntary basis.

Besides, the DFB will design an independent ranking system for the Chinese team while their outcomes will not be included in the German league table, and they will also introduce many other teams in Germany to join in the competition.

"This is a very unique and fabulous project even for the experienced 117-year-old association," said Curtius, admitting many things are still undecided about the ranking system and they will make it clear before the opener of the Chinese team in November when the league is in its 20th round.

This project is part of the 10-year cooperation agreement signed last year by the leaders of the two sides.

China aims to boost its football development and to tune up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games through the German journey, said Zhang Jian, the general secretary and vice president of the Chinese Football Association after the signing ceremony of the project.

Curtius said China is a "sleeping giant" and will become a football superpower in the next 10-20 years, and Germany will offer its knowledge and expertise to help China through the project.

Zhang said China hopes to learn the football skills, strategies, beliefs and ideas from the German League, saying "the project is not just about one game between players or quick chats between couches; it is the excellent management system of the German League and its fabulous spirits shown in the games that we can learn from."

"Good experience is like yeast which can make bread dough rise but swallowing it directly doesn't make any sense," said Zhang.

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