University launches college in soccer superpower bid

Guangzhou Sport University has become the first on the mainland to launch a soccer college after the country unveiled plans to be a superpower in the sport by 2050, writes Zhou Xin for South China Morning Post.

The university kicked off the four-year programme for high school graduates last Sunday, Nanfang Daily reported. Between 100 and 150 pupils will begin studying for a four-year course in September. The details of the curriculum have not yet been decided and were “under constant exploration and improvement”, Zhou Yi, the executive dean, was quoted as saying.
But Zhou said the college, with more than 20 faculty members, would also focus on training coaches and referees for schools.

China recently released a soccer-themed national plan. Beijing has set an interim target of 50 million soccer players by 2020 to lay the foundations for China to become one of Asia’s best teams by 2030 and one of the world’s best by 2050. It also said that 20 million children are slated to be receiving soccer training in 2025, and plans are that there will be 20,000 more school pitches by 2020 and 20,000 for cities.
Full report on the South China Morning Post site