Chinese Gov't Allocates $1.6M For Football Development In Five Cities
The "chronic under performance" of China on the int'l football stage "has spurred the government to implement a more hands-on approach to the game" that will be seen in five cities, according to Tang Zhe of the CHINA DAILY. To "explore new avenues to develop" Chinese football, Qingdao, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Dalian and Wuhan were chosen by the General Administration of Sport of China and the Chinese FA for a pilot program. CFA VP Wei Di said that the association "is now working with the five cities to achieve specific targets." Those goals include the improvement of the local football associations, training, competition and evaluation systems, as well as "the policy-making of the local sports authorities." Wei said, "The pilot cities had to have a strong soccer history, a considerable foundation, the support of local government and an energetic local association." Wei said that the CFA has allocated RMB 10M ($1.6M) to five cities this year "to help them organize" more football activities and encourage retired players to take up coaching posts. The CFA "expects to provide more funds in '13 for venue construction and renovation" (CHINA DAILY, 12/13).