China's Ministry of Education (MOE) revealed on Feb. 21 that the country will strive to build 20,000 schools specializing in soccer in 2017, in addition to training 3,000 school soccer instructors and recruiting 120 foreign coaches to teach in middle and primary schools.
China approved 4,754 soccer schools and 31 trial areas for school soccer in 2016. At present, 13,381 soccer schools and 69 trials areas have been approved. By 2025, the total number of such schools is expected to reach 50,000.
Wang Dengfeng, director of the MOE's Department of Physical, Health and Arts Education, explained that apart from building an additional 20,000 soccer schools, China plans to thoroughly investigate its existing schools. In addition, China will establish six to eight soccer coach training bases this year, and invite domestic soccer lecturers and foreign teachers to train 3,000 new coaches in 2017.
Expanding the role of international exchange, China will hire 120 foreign coaches from abroad. In 2016, about 115 foreign coaches were recruited to work in China's primary and middle schools.