A junior soccer coach from Spain dribbles the ball during an exhibition game with students at a youth soccer training camp at Beijing Royal School.

China plans to build an extra 20,000 soccer schools, recruit another 120 veteran foreign coaches and train 3,000 campus soccer teachers by the end of this year, the Education Ministry said on Tuesday.

It’s part of the national plan to develop the country into a world soccer power, issued in 2015.

About 250 foreign coaches have begun teaching at primary and elementary schools since then, according to Beijing News.

There has been 13,381 soccer schools built, and that number is expected to rise to 50,000 by 2025.

Career service companies have been tasked by the ministry to recruit coaches from aboard, Wang Dengfeng, director of the Ministry’s PE department, said.

Three to five foreign coaches will be appointed to work in each city and will be paid by the Education Ministry, Wang said. Fifty cities across China opened soccer schools last year.

The country is also planning to construct six to eight training bases in colleges or other similar institutions to cultivate 3,000 professional soccer teachers this year, he added.

Wang also said there would be a mechanism to close soccer schools if necessary, but didn’t detail how that will work.

China Daily

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