The Ministry of Education recently released their list of approved specialized football schools, districts/counties and Mantianxing training projects for the year 2018 via its official website.
After evaluation by the MOE, 33 districts/counties, 3,916 schools and 48 Mantianxing training projects across the country have reached the standards for specialized football schools, districts and Mantianxing projects, as shown by the lists. These schools, districts and projects are being publicly displayed from August 9 to 16 to hear any objections from any party.
Sixteen out of 30 provinces have more than 100 schools approved this year with Guangdong (390), Shandong (327), Jiangsu (327), Inner Mongolia (240) and Anhui (213) being the top 5 provinces while Beijing has 40 schools on the list.
Forty eight Mantianxing projects in 32 provinces/cities have been approved in total. Mantianxing (literally means “stars across the night sky”) is a key component of the school football development plan of the MOE. It is a bridge between Chinese campus football and professional football. Mantianxing training campuses are organized by education departments or sports bureaus at city and district levels, supported by schools in those areas. These training campuses provide training and competition for talented student players outside of class time and they also select outstanding players to attend training at the Chinese Football Association training centers which cover various levels, local regional football teams and professional football clubs’ youth training teams.
Nevertheless, the newly announced schools are likely to face a round of re-evaluation in 2019. The MOE announced in March 2018 that all specialized football schools should be re-evaluated in terms of their quality in the following year of their selection to ensure their quality is being maintained. In 2017, the first round of re-evaluation of schools selected in 2015 and 2016 was carried out, after which thirty-seven football schools from different provinces were no longer qualified or were required to make changes to regain their status.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick