The past two years has seen a galvanization of the professional game and its profile in China. Anelka, Drogba, & Lippi have put the CSL on the international football map and CCTV5 has been increasing its coverage of the domestic game. Chinese football is on the up. Or is it?
Despite these efforts numbers of registered Chinese youth football players continue to dwindle, even after three years of the colossal China School Football project which reaches millions at primary and middle school campuses every year. The question of sustaining grassroots football in China remains an unanswered question. A question equal to where is the Yaoming of football? When will the Chinese national team be a feared opponent? And when will domestic and international corporate sponsors be attracted to the Chinese game?
Celebrating its first year of operation the China Grassroots Football Expo kicks off its four days of football activities this Thursday to Sunday (Nov. 1st to 4th) in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. The event will highlight the major projects and key individuals aiming to establish the sport of football for Chinese athletes, coaches, fans, and enthusiasts. The unique platform of celebration and information exchange hopes to build on constructive efforts to raise the games profile and bring quality information to football personnel in China.
Performing and Competing all days at the Expo will be Street Kings pro-street football group, and reigning world street football champions. Sunday afternoon will be the 3v3 finals. In addition the China Nations Cup (Expat World Cup) will be hosting Chinese Expat Football Clubs representing France (Shanghai Lions), Japan,USA, South America, and Hong Kong.
Thursday November 1st Forum & Speakers
Luyu– CFA Representative and Vice Director of China School Football Project
Louis de Vries – Co-Founder & VP of IAFA (International Association of FIFA Agents) and Former Agent of Zidane, Speaking about the history of international transfers and their role in establishing professional leagues.
Romain Yao – VP of OCEANS Sports & Entertainment Marketing Ltd. (brought Manchester United to China in 2012 and executed Toshiba Sponsorship of China FA Cup) Speaking about the role of professional clubs and leagues in developing grassroots football.
Wei Yidong – Commentator of Beijing TV – Speaking about constructive relationship between Beijing Guoan FC, Beijing TV, and Guoan Fans (Who, without financial incentive, gather by scores of thousands at Gongti for matches)
Liu Lihao– Former Chinese Women’s National Team Player and Founder/CEO of Innovative Grassrotos Football Company Kick Tempo China Speaking about innovative ways to create and use football fields in China.
~November 1st – Afternoon Activities
Top Sports Lab – Sports Medicine Experts (clients: AZ Alkmar, FC Twente, Seattle Sounders, Belgium National Team, etc.) will be cohosting a conference on Sports Medicine Technology in cooperation with Zhejiang College of Sports and Hangzhou Greentown Football Club
Friday Nov. 2nd Panelists and Coaches
Ignacio Marcet- Representatives of Fundacion Marcet Football Academy of Barcelona, Spain will be giving a coaching demonstration.
Ebbe Sand – Former Danish National Team Captain and Founder of Ebbe Sand Soccer Academy inShanghai
Also present will be members of Hangzhou FA and Sports Bureau & Zhejiang FA and Sports Burea.u
Saturday – Sunday- Football Enthusiasts and Recreation
Exhibition Hall – 3v3 Competition, Freestyle Competition, China Nations Cup (Nearby at Xiacheng Stadium), and football Carnival.