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AFC strengthens support to football development in China PR

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Press Release

14th June 2018

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa held important discussions on the continued development of football in China PR with the Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China H.E. Sun Chunlan in Moscow today.

The AFC President also met China PR State Council Office Deputy General Secretary Mr Ding Xiangyang, China PR’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation H.E. Li Hui, Vice Education Minister Mr Tian Xuejun, Assistant Sports Minister Mr Du Zhaocai and China PR Assistant Foreign Minister Mr Zhao Hanhui.

Shaikh Salman told H.E. Sun that the AFC will offer China PR strategic support to provide the Chinese Football Association (CFA) with assistance in the key areas of central and regional association development.

In addition, there will be assistance in the area of administration, including marketing, access to projects under the AFC President’s Initiatives, refereeing, governance and sports medicine. The AFC will also assist CFA in its stated of ambition of hosting the FIFA World Cup in the next 20 years.

Shaikh Salman said: “‘I am grateful to Madam Sun for making the time to meet and, as China PR has the ambition to host the FIFA World Cup, it is fitting that we are holding our discussions here in Moscow on the very day that the FIFA World Cup 2018 is starting.

“There has been considerable investment and progress in Chinese football in the last few years and we thank the People’s Republic of China Government for its continued support, particularly in developing the grassroots game.

“The AFC is in the process of putting together a task force to assist the CFA as part of the AFC’s Vision and Mission which commits the AFC to providing tailor-made assistance for our Member Associations. We recognise the potential of China PR as a football superpower in the years to come and the continued rise of the country will benefit football in Asia as a whole.

“The AFC will provide detailed assistance to help the CFA deliver its medium and long-term development plans. The AFC will also provide a dedicated manager to co-ordinate the project and liaise directly with the CFA.

At the meeting Madam Sun told the AFC President: “I am glad to have the opportunity to meet you. The AFC has delivered a lot of important work in Asia and you have made a big contribution to Chinese football. We appreciate that.

“The co-operation between the AFC and CFA speaks volumes about the enormous potential of Chinese football. The AFC has, in recent years, made tremendous progress under your leadership and for the first time five Asian teams have qualified for the World Cup. I congratulate you.

“President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping is personally engaged in promoting football and the initiative has been very well received by the people. Most importantly, football brings health benefits to the people and is part of our vision for a healthy country.

She added: “I am inspired by your vision for the AFC and the CFA will work with you through the proposed Task Force. Hosting and winning the FIFA World Cup is a football dream of 1.3 billion Chinese people and we hope you will help us achieve this dream.

The meeting was also attended by Zhang Jian, the CFA First Vice President and General Secretary, Member of the FIFA Council and the AFC Executive Committee. The CFA noted that it will continue to play a significant role in international football administration with the AFC and FIFA.

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