Vice-Premier Liu Yandong called for the promotion of soccer in China’s schools, with the aim of improving children’s health - as well as nurturing talents for national teams.
She made the comments during a video conference on Nov 26.
Liu said that instructions to improve soccer skills and school physical education - as requested by General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang - should be implemented.
She also said that promoting soccer in schools is a starting point to achieve China’s soccer dream, and to help the country become the one of world’s dominant sports powers.
Liu added that the initiative is of great importance, and it will help boost education and the spirit of the Chinese people.
She said that there has been much progress concerning soccer in China’s schools, and an increasing number of children have had the opportunity to play the sport - but she added much remains to be done.
The vice-premier suggested the authorities should develop soccer skills, promote the willpower of students, train high-quality coaches, and establish soccer tournaments in primary, junior and high schools as well as colleges - and they should also encourage social investment in this field.
More than 5,000 designated schools around China - involving about 2.7 million students - focus on the promotion of soccer
Additionally, at least 100,000 soccer tournaments were held in primary, junior and high schools - and also colleges - around the country last year.
The government also aims to create 20,000 schools specializing in soccer - and it hopes there will be a total of about 200 high-level soccer teams on campuses by 2017.