First China Youth Football League kicks off
The opening game of the first China Youth Football League (CYFL) kicked off on Monday in Changchun of northeast China's Jilin Province.
The first CYFL, featuring U13 and U15 tournaments, is organized and hosted by the Chinese Football Association (CFA) under the guidance of China's Ministry of Education and State General Administration of Sports, with the aim of creating a youth football league with the widest coverage, the largest number of participants, the highest level of competition and the most social influence.
Both the U13 and U15 tournaments, consisting of 59 and 60 teams each, are divided into eight groups to compete in single round-robin format, with top two teams of each group advancing to the finals, which will take place from August 13 to 22.
"Through the competition, I get to know my shortcomings, learn more about football, and improve my skills," said Li Chuan'en, captain of Changchun Yang Guang team. "I look forward to leading my team to good results in the following games."
According to Qiao Daihu, a CFA official who is in charge of the organization of the league, the competition fields are lessened to 90 meters long and 64 meters wide compared to standard fields in order to increase the intensity and enjoyment of the games.
Qiao also introduced that an additional quarter is added after each regular game, giving young players who didn't have enough playing time a chance to gain experience.