August 16: The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has signed an agreement with the German Football Association (DFB), announcing that the China U-20 Olympic team will compete in Germany's fourth tier starting from the 2017/18 season. According to Chinanews, by playing in the Regional liga Südwest the U-20 team will improve their competitiveness and preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.
Friedrich Curtius, the general secretary of the DFB, stated that 16 out of 19 teams in the fourth tier of the German leagues have agreed to play against China U-20s on a regular basis. They will introduce three more teams from the region to the league, in order to secure a full 19-game season for the China U-20 team. The German league will also create a new ranking system for China U-20, and the results from matches with the Chinese team will not be counted towards the rankings on the league table.
Further to this project, the CFA and DFB will forge partnerships in other areas, including youth and women's teams development, training courses for coaches and referees as well as league operations and management. Meanwhile, the CFA will seek to establish training bases in Europe for Chinese football teams.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick