The first Chinese-German Football Summit, held this week in Frankfurt, saw intensive exchange between leading representatives of both countries' football associations as well as the Chinese Super League (CSL) and Bundesliga clubs.
The Summit was attended by around 200 participants including roughly 100 guests from China and continued on from the agreement signed by the People's Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Germany in November 2016 to promote cooperation in the area of football. Under this agreement, both sides had expressed their joint intention to work together steadily to support the development of football in China.
The participants of the Chinese-German Football Summit included DFL CEO Christian Seifert, DFB Secretary General Dr. Friedrich Curtius, DFB Treasurer Dr. Stephan Osnabrügge and Oliver Bierhoff, the manager of the national team as well as representatives of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Berlin, cultural attaché Chen Ping and Zhang Jian, Senior Vice President and Secretary General of the Chinese Football Association (CFA).
Watch: Representatives of the German and Chinese governments signed a far-reaching soccer agreement in November 2016
The items on the agenda included a description of the structure and tasks of DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga, such as the licensing process and a presentation of the partnerships that have already been forged by Bundesliga clubs with clubs and provinces in China. DFB's activities in China including trainer and talent development and a presentation of the planned DFB Academy in Frankfurt formed key aspects of the second day. Finally, the successful model underlying the centres of excellence operated by German professional football was described together with examples of Bundesliga clubs and their individual approaches within the DFL and DFB-certified facilities.
"The partnership that we forged last November is the most far-reaching football alliance between a European country and China, thus giving it a special dimension," said DFL CEO Christian Seifert. "We have filled the agreement with life through the Chinese-German Football Summit. Both sides stand to benefit from it. For DFL and Bundesliga, it provides an opportunity of gaining a better understanding of the Chinese football market. In addition, it became evident over the two days of the Summit that German clubs have already stepped up their activities in China substantially."
DFB Secretary General Dr. Friedrich Curtius said: "DFB has been working with the Chinese Football Association successfully since 2006. The memorandum of understanding signed in November between the DFL on the one hand and the Chinese Ministry of Education and the Chinese Football Association on the other has taken these activities to a new level and is being additionally backed up by a governmental agreement. The partners are pursuing ambitious goals and this is reflected in the lengths to which all parties involved are going. The first Chinese-German Football Summit marks a further milestone in the German-Chinese football partnership. The purpose of the Summit was to provide a forum for both sides to get to know each other more closely and to strengthen ties but also to develop specific measures for promoting football in China."
"In the context of the restructuring and development of Chinese football, we now have far more contacts with our counterparts worldwide," said CFA Senior Vice President/Secretary General Zhang Jian. "The inauguration of the Chinese-German Football Summit 2017 definitely provides a valuable opportunity for the football professionals of our two countries to enhance mutual understanding, and to further the cooperation between our two sides."