BEIJING — The Ministry of Education (MOE), together with five other government departments, established a “school football leading group” to ensure football thrives in the country’s schools, according to an MOE circular released on Jan 27.
The leading group is tasked with implementing laws and policies on campus football development, outlining annual plans as well as reviewing rules and budgets for promoting the sport among the nation’s students and youth.
The other five departments participating in the leading groups are the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Finance, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, the General Administration of Sports (GAS) and the Communist Youth League Central Committee.
The MOE on Jan 16 announced that it plans to select 20,000 primary or middle schools in which to promote football by 2017. It will also choose 30 counties to serve as trial areas for the development of school football in order to increase the popularity of the sport in Chinese schools and lay a foundation for more talented players.
The move came in response to the poor performance by China’s national football team in recent years. The Chinese team has failed to qualify for the World Cup for the past 12 years.