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Wanda to Bring First International Soccer Tournament to China


\Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin makes a speech at the ceremony.
\Yu Hongchen, Party Secretary of Chinese Football Association makes a speech at the ceremony.
\Hu Zhuo, Deputy Chairman of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, makes a speech at the ceremony.
\Signing ceremony.
Soccer’s first China Cup is six months away.

The Chinese Football Association and Wanda Sports Holdings Co. plan to host the first-ever “'China Cup' International Football Tournament”. The 2017 games will be held in the southern Chinese autonomous region of Guangxi, in Nanning city, on January 9 to January 16. China and the three first-class national teams from Europe and the Americas will play four games, offering fans a glimpse of the highest levels of international soccer. Wanda and the CFA will seek approval by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and FIFA for this project.

The China Cup is the first international soccer competition to land in China. Wanda Sports Holdings owns the intellectual property rights to the China Cup, and beyond this event, China will not host similar international competitions. As the host country, China will automatically qualify to enter its national team in the tournament. Chinese fans won’t have to go overseas or watch games at odd hours to enjoy the world’s top-level international competition.

The China Cup will be held annually, initially featuring competitions between four teams and gradually building up to eight teams in the future. In addition to China, other participating nations will be among the world’s top-ranking national A teams, with their best players taking the field.

The first China Cup comes as China’s national team prepares to compete for a spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. China is the world’s most populous soccer market, and in recent years professional soccer has spread like wildfire, with professional soccer clubs rising to top levels in Asia. But China’s national team is lagging behind due to the lack of international competition. Chinese fans are eager to see their national team rise to the top, becoming a symbol of national football.

To help rev up the competition, three teams with styles similar to Asian countries and with higher playing levels will be invited to the China Cup in 2017.

Starting from 2018, the China Cup will invite countries from Europe and the Americas whose teams have the highest skill levels, enabling international football stars to play in front of a vast number of Chinese soccer fans on the stage of the China Cup.

To enhance China’s competitive skills and to revitalize Chinese football, Wanda has spent the last two years in more than 100 negotiations, undergoing major work to make this tournament happen and gain the support of the Chinese Football Association. Wanda will now talk to the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA with the aim to bring the “China Cup” into reality.

Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin said that he himself has had a lifetime love of football and sincerely hopes that the Chinese national team will play in the FIFA World Cup. Founding the China Cup is just one way to revive Chinese football, helping the Chinese national team propel from the China Cup to the FIFA World Cup.


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