Chinese President Xi Jinping met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the Great Hall of the People on June 14.
Xi noted that the development of football was highly valued by the Chinese government, providing strong and consistent support for the sport of football, even though China has been lagging far behind traditional football powerhouses for years in terms of both the sport's domestic popularity and skill on the pitch.
In recent years, China have put in place football reform plans in an effort to inject life into its football culture. These reforms involve almost every aspect of football including its management system, professional clubs, professional leagues, its national teams and grassroots football.
Xi also stated that China is promoting the philosophy and culture of football throughout its whole society with reforms in its sport's management system well under way. More effort is being made in youth football programs, in the construction of football pitches and in international exchanges. China hopes to raise the standard of Chinese football step by step, and lend support in the Chinese people's pursuit of the Chinese dream.
Xi thanked Infantino for his support for football development in China stressing that China would support FIFA in promoting football, which has provided a lot of cooperation opportunities for both China and FIFA.
Infantino spoke highly of Xi's vision about the development and reform of football, saying China is a high priority in FIFA's global development strategy.
"We can really start a new era of football, not only in China, President Xi, but in the whole world because we are really passionate about football," said Infantino.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick