Beijing municipal authorities have announced an ambitious soccer development plan, setting the goal of getting more than 1 million people participating in the sport on a regular basis by 2020, the Beijing Youth Daily reported on Sunday.
According to the document issued by the Beijing city government's official website on Thursday, the capital has rolled out a three-step development strategy for its soccer industry.
By 2020, there will be total of 1,610 soccer pitches ready and available for Beijing residents, equivalent to about one pitch for every 14,000 people.
Furthermore, campus soccer systems will be established in 230 primary and middle schools in the city, where more than 200,000 students are expected to be engaged in the sports frequently.
The document explicitly stresses the development of soccer at the grassroots level, in that it demands the sport be widely taken up among the city's residents.
The ultimate objective will be to get around one million residents playing soccer regularly by 2020.
The second step mentioned in the document states that by 2035, both men's and women's soccer teams will be playing in the top Chinese league, and both should be competitive in fighting for the league title.
And the third step, which has a more long-term goal, demands that by 2050, game management skills and sports capabilities will reach world class levels, and that professional soccer teams will be quite competitive on the international tournaments stage.
The city will also actively make applications to host International soccer events.
Beijing has previously successfully hosted the 29th Olympic Games in 2008.