19th November 2018
Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, today met with H.E. Gou Zhongwen, Minister of General Administration of Sport of the People’s Republic of China and President of the National Olympic Committee, to discuss the development of the game in the country.
Also present during the meeting were H.E. Du Zhaocai, Vice-Minister of General Administration of Sport of the People’s Republic of China and Acting President of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), and other top football officials.
The Chinese Government under the leadership of President H.E Xi Jinping has put football development at the top of the sports agenda in China PR and the AFC President has already committed the AFC to assist in the growth of the game in the country in the coming years.
Shaikh Salman said from the Chinese capital, Beijing: “The meeting with H.E. Gou Zhongwen was important to hear his thoughts on the direction for football in China PR. The country has stated its ambition to host and win the FIFA World Cup and the AFC is ready to support those aims.
“We have established a Task Force to work closely with the CFA, particularly in the areas of regional development and technical improvement and I look forward to seeing this assistance bring about some excellent results.”
The AFC President added: “China PR have also qualified for the AFC Asian Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates in January next year and I am sure that the hundreds of millions of football fans in the country will be tuning in to follow their fortunes.
“We are also grateful to China PR for hosting many AFC competitions in recent years including the AFC U-23 Championships earlier this year and the AFC Women’s U-19 Championships last year. We hope that China PR continues to put its impressive stadia forward as hosts of other major AFC competitions in the years to come.”
H.E Gou expressed his full support for Shaikh Salman and his vision of developing Asian football, and appreciated the close collaboration between the CFA and AFC.
“We thank you for all the support the CFA continues to receive and look forward to achieving our common goals together,” he said.
Shaikh Salman also explained the details of the AFC’s new commercial rights agreement with DDMC-Fortis who will be the exclusive agents for the AFC’s broadcast, sponsorship and digital rights from 2021 to 2028.
During his trip to Beijing, the AFC President is also scheduled to visit former AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong to present the Diamond of Asia award ahead of next week’s AFC Annual Awards in Muscat, Oman.