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China to introduce soccer textbooks to schools in fall

By Xinhua 18 Apr 2015

New soccer textbooks will be introduced to Chinese primary and middle schools beginning in the autumn semester of this year, after the Ministry of Education named the sport a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

The textbooks have been compiled with input from soccer coaches and experts by state-managed publisher the People's Education Press (PEP).

Aimed at primary school students from grades three to six as well as junior and senior middle school students, they cover soccer's basic skills and rules as well as the sport's culture, according to the PEP.

"To help students get a more intuitive feeling during their study, the books use 3D images for the first time to show tactical operations," said PEP Editor-in-Chief Wei Zhirong on Friday.

Students will also be able to use their cellphones to scan QR codes in the textbooks to access instructional videos, according to Wei.

The PEP has selected 13 demonstration areas and 20 demonstration schools nationwide to pilot the books and make revisions accordingly.

In February, the central authority kicked off a plan to improve China's soccer credentials, with the country embarrassed in recent years by the performance of its national team and corruption in domestic leagues.

More efforts will be made at the grassroots level to nurture young talent and ensure the integration of professional clubs, school teams and amateur teams, according to the decision.

The Ministry of Education plans to select thousands of schools to lead the campaign, reviving the sport's popularity on campus and offering coaching that it hopes will create a bigger pool of talented players.

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