China's village football league to collaborate with English Premier League
China's village football tournament nicknamed "Cun Chao" and the English Premier League (EPL) agreed on a strategic cooperation at the ongoing 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) on Saturday.
The two sides were set to carry out training projects and potentially friendly matches.
Tom Duke, the British trade commissioner for China, said, "Congratulate Guizhou on its recent success of Super Village League which went viral on social media. We welcome representatives from Guizhou, especially from Rongjiang county to visit the UK for exchanges on grassroots football development."
"I hope this will be a new starting point for the UK and Guizhou's collaboration on trade and football," he said. "Looking ahead, we hope to collaborate with Guizhou on education and skills, technology service sector, sports and tourism."
"Cun Chao" was held in Rongjiang county, southwest China's Guizhou Province from May 13 to July 29 this year, during which 20 village teams played 98 games, attracting over a million audience to the site.
Cai Chaolin, vice governor of Guizhou Province, said, "The tournament showed the original charm of football and became a phenomenal festival, which led more people to know the colorful Guizhou which boasts of pleasant natural environment and rich social culture."
Exciting football games, music and dance performances featuring local ethnic culture captured the attention of media, social media users, and even overseas stars.
"I just want to say congratulations to 'Cun Chao' for all your success," said English football legend and former Liverpool player Michael Owen. "I wish 'Cun Chao' all the very best for the future."
While Britain is the guest country of honor of the 2023 CIFTIS, a five-day event kicked off on Saturday, the English Premier League seized the opportunity to seek cooperation with this popular grassroot football tournament.
"As one of the leading football leagues in the world, EPL can share the experience of tournament organization and brand promotion with 'Cun Chao'. To make the players and audience enjoy football is our common goal," said Hu Zhaoheng, a representative of EPL.