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China plans to build 20,000 soccer schools in 2017

By Luo Wangshu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-12 18:29

China will build 20,000 soccer schools this year to promote the sport to primary and secondary school students, Chen Baosheng, the education minister, announced on Sunday.

"Soccer education will open a new path to training more athletes, which will ultimately improve China's competitive level," Chen said, adding that the target is to build 40,000 soccer schools by 2020.

"The move aims to increase soccer's popularity and encourage more children to play the sport," he said.

The ministry's efforts to promote soccer also include training more than 200,000 school heads and coaches and organizing tournaments.