Teams gather for students' football tourney in Shanghai
The SAIC Pudong Arena is hosting the city's most popular amateur football event for middle and high school students – the Shanghai Port-SAIC Xinmin Evening News Students' Football Tournament – this weekend.
The September 15-17 event follows two months of qualifying rounds that began in July. Eleven teams from around the country will compete for titles in the middle school and high school divisions in Shanghai. Shanghai Blue 90 and Shanghai FC enter the event as regional champions of their respective divisions.
Since 2021, the tournament has expanded its geographical scope to include teams from the Yangtze River Delta region, involving teams from Huangshan, Anhui Province; and Taizhou, Zhejiang Province. It has also deepened its foothold in the Kashgar area of northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
In a pioneering move, this year's competition will see the debut of three wildcard entries from Shigatse, southwestern Tibet autonomous region; the aim being to enhance communication between youngsters from Shanghai and Shigatse.
Complementing the tournament, young athletes participating in the Shanghai event have been invited to watch the 25th round of the Chinese Super League match between Shanghai Port and Changchun Yatai on Friday evening, which will be held at the same venue as the students' tournament.
Moreover, Shanghai Port youth team coaches will give technical lectures to the tournament guest teams. Shanghai Port striker Li Shenglong will lend his voice to the tournament's new theme song "Our World Cup."